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Thou whose sweet youth and early hopes enhance 
Thy rate and price, and mark thee for a treasure, 
Hearken unto a verser, who may chance 
Rhyme thee to good, and make a bait of pleasure, 
A verse may find him who a sermon flies, %^ 
And turn delight into a sacrifice. 

George Herbert. 



BOSTON: 

PUBLISHED BY JOSEPH DOWE. 

1836. 



n 



in 



Entered according to an Act of Congress in the year 1835, 

By Joseph Dowe, 

In the Clerk's office of the District Court of the District of 

Massachusetts. 



Z-S-04, 



BOSTON: 

Samuel N. Dickinson, Printer, 

52 Washington Street. 



PREFACE 



This selection of poems has been made 
from a series of volumes published in England, 
and edited by Mrs. Jevons, the daughter of 
the late William Roscoe. It has been done 
in the hope that it will find as indulgent a 
reception among us, as the original work has 
received in a foreign country, on account of 
the stainless purity of its spirit, the simple 
truth of its sentiment, and the deep, yet chas- 
tened fervour of its piety. 

The Sacred Offering is presented to the 
public, with some confidence, that those who 



IV. PREFACE. 

love to read poetry of a tender, and spiritual 

kind, will find many pages in accordance with 

their own hearts ; and that, with the pleasure 

arising from a poetical source, a more devout 

spirit may be cherished, is the sincere wish 

of the 

Compiler. 
Boston, Dec. 15, 1835. 






CONTENTS 



page. 

Immortality of Thought, 9 

The Sabbath, 12 

To an Absent Friend, 15 

The Sabbath Day, 17 

The Penitent, 19 

Friends in Heaven, 21 

The Parting, 22 

Sonnet, 24 

The Land of the Blest, 25 

Nature, 27 

Shepherd of Israel, 28 

Communion with God, 30 

The Christian Daughter, 32 

On being relieved from severe and long continued pain, .' .34 

The Grave, 34 

The Adieu, 36 

Immortality, .... ...... 38 

The Forsaken, 39 

To a Daughter, on the Day of her Marriage, ... 40 

Recognition, 42 

Lines on Ecclesiastes 1. 7 44 

The Spirit of Man, 48 

On the Departure of a Friend, 67 

On the Death of a Beautiful Boy, 70 

The Spirit's Trust, 72 



VI. CONTENTS. 

page. 

The Past and the Future, 74 

Lines on John vi. 68, 77 

Lines on John xxi. 22, 78 

A Dying Scene, 79 

Evening Hymn, 81 

Devotion, 83 

And God said, Let there be light, and there was light, . . 84 

Lines on Job xxxiv. 29, 86 

Omnipresence, 89 

Natural Beauty, 90 

Moral Beauty, 92 

Lines on ii. Cor. iv. 16, , . 95 

Lines on Matthew xxx. 34, 97 

O Father, let this cup pass from me j nevertheless, not as 

I will, but as thou wilt, 98 

The Consumptive Girl, • 99 

Evening, 102 

The Child at Prayer, 103 

Lines on Acts xii. 6 — 12, . . . . . . 104 

Truth and Immortality, 106 

Self-Confidence, 109 

The waters were abated, . 110 

The Sabbath School, 114 

The Lost, 116 

Evening Hymn, 121 

Lines composed in Autumn, 122 

Hymn, 124 

Morning Hymn, . ' 126 

Hymn, 127 

The Sea-shore, 129 

Paraphrase of the Lord's Prayer, 130 

The Mother's Prayer. 131 

Sonnet, 133 

Recollections, ... * 134 



CONTENTS. Vll. 

page. 

Hope, 136 

Sonnet on Milton, 138 

Hymn, 139 

Resignation, 140 

The Heart-Stricken, 142 

Verses to , 143 

Death, 145 

Christian Consolation, 146 

The Autumn Dirge, 148 

Lines, 150 

Sonnet, 152 

Sonnet, 153 

The Churchyard, 154 

Home, 155 

The Worshipper of Nature, 157 

To a Friend on Parting, 159 

Sonnet, .161 

The Mourner, 162 

Sonnet, 163 

The Vision, 164 

Hymn, 166 

Hymn, .... 169 

Morning Hymn, 170 

Sonnet on the late Rev. J. Buckminster, .... 172 

The Stream of Life, . 173 

Divine Protection, . 176 

Devotion, 177 

The Departed, 178 

Baptism, 180 

Lines on John, chap, ix . 183 

Weep Not, 184 

The Absent Friend, ]85 

Hymn, • 186 

The Past, 187 



VIM. CONTENTS 



page. 

Death, . J 192 

Stanzas, 193 

Stanzas, 194 

The Blind, . 195 

The Sisters, 197 

Providence, 200 

Consumption, . 201 

Hymn, 202 

Heavenly Messengers, 204 

The Heart's Mystery, 205 

Renovation, 207 

Memories, 209 

Sleep, Spirit, Sleep, 210 

The Religion of Nature, 211 

Hymn, 312 

Sonnet, 214 

The Peace of Heaven, 215 



)fxttib S§ff*ri«$* 



BIMORTALITY OF THOUGHT. 



There is an immortality in things 

That seem to flash, and sparkle, and expire ; 

The soul a deathlessness around it flings, 

As sparks from fire. 

How much of good one spirit may pour forth, 
Robed in its own inborn infinity ; 
How much of evil scatter o'er the earth, 
That will not die ! 

Mind is the concentration of the thought 
Of other minds — a bright and burning dower 
Of rays, into one glowing focus brought 
By its own power. 

E'en things inanimate their tribute cede 
To its resistless power ; like as the sun 
Exhaleth dew from every flower and weed 
It shines upon. 

1 



10 THE SACRED 

What is our life ? but one unceasing round 
Of passing intercourse of man with man ; 
Of beautiful relations, closely bound 
Into one span! 

Of meetings, which seem chance, but are not so ; 
Of passions, of commingling feelings born ; 
Of mutual love, of common joy or woe, 
Of hate, or scorn ! 

A vision, but imperfectly revealed, 
Of when, or where our meeting next may be : 
We part, and thus one page of life is sealed 
Eternally. 

If this be parting, that the eye doth note 
A change, as if its light in part were gone, 
And the ear mark, from sounds that round it float, 
An absent tone. 

Our moral life, our influence is not gone, 
When the material bonds around us break ; 
In other minds our spirit still lives on ; 

Though dead, we speak. 

Of the brief intercourse of kindred minds, 
What embryo crime, incipient good has birth ; 
Which voices, traceless as the winged winds, 
Will utter forth ? 



OFFERING. 11 

Mind in its vast creativeness, may give 
Existence unto that it knows no more ; 
And even our forgotten thoughts may live 
For evermore. 

Beings unknown, that evil will inherit, 
Remorse itself is powerless to recal ; 
Though from the anguish of a broken spirit 
A voice should call. 

The good is safe with Him, who best can choose 
Meet instruments to work his will below — 
" A vessel fitted for the master's use : " 
And be it so. 

Ye, who would mark its influence beyond, 
Ask, whence the courage which makes nations free, — 
The mercy that would break the iron bond 
Of slavery ? 

These gleamings of a feeling most sublime, 
(As lightnings o'er the cloud their brightness throw) 
Out-breaking in this world, 'midst all its crime 
And all its woe. 

How large a portion of that bliss, which springs 
First from His love, who every gift imparts, 
Is nurtured in the noiseless communings 
Of human hearts ? 



12 THE SACRED 

And thence diffused, still blessing and to bless, 
A heritage to ages yet to come, 
Itself the element of happiness 

Beyond the tomb. 

Thousand ideas fall, which none may mark : 
One may survive our perishable name. 
We know not, from a burning brand, which spark 
Kindles the flame. 

Immortal thought ! could we but know and feel 
Where the deep impress thou canst make may be, 
How should we pause, and tremble to reveal 
Aught ill of thee ! 



THE SABBATH. 



' A pillar of the cloud ' seems o'er the earth, 

Guarding its rest, as if 't were hallowed ground ; 

There is a sound of bliss, but not of mirth, 

A quiet happiness diffused around. 

Peace, heavenly peace, the Sabbath doth pervade, 

The peace of God, descending from on high, 



OFFERING. 13 

Unlike aught else : night hath a stilly shade, 
Dear to the weary frame and failing eye ; 
But something dearer, holier, still more blest, 
Is in this Sabbath hush — It is the spirit's rest. 

Then, from the temple of our God, ascends 
The music of glad voices. At His shrine, 
Sorrow, in pious resignation, bends ; 
And joy looks upward to its fount divine. 
Yes, 't is a glorious thing to think of all 
The thousands at one moment met to pray ; 
Of those we love, whose destined pathways fall 
Far, far from ours ; for when we feel that they 
Join in the song of gratitude, which we 
Raise to our Father's throne, how near they seem to 
be. 

They are the Sabbaths of our early years, 
That tell of something sacred to the heart, 
Which is not of the world — which man reveres, 
Though pride, and wealth, and honor have no part 
Or portion there ; and the young spirit hence 
Its first pure lesson of devotion learns, 
Felt, though not heard — a holy influence ; 
And fondly in his age the pilgrim turns 
A look to those calm days, which raised his eyes 
Unto that better rest, a Sabbath in the skies. 



14 THESACRED 

Sweet is the retrospect ; each Sabbath day 

Is a marked spot upon the path of time, 

Bright through all change. What though life's 

pleasant way 
Lie through the world's high places — though its 

prime 
Be filled with hope, and many a festal hour 
Leave sunshine on its track — of all the past, 
What is there gifteth memory with such power 
To cheer life's closing evening to the last, 
As those pure joys which brighten more and more, 
vVhen all of earthly bliss we feel must soon be o'er. 

Blest Sabbath ! prototype of joys unknown, 
Earnest of better things which are to be. 
Oh thou art not the world's, but the heart's own, 
The link 'tween time and far eternity. 
Thine was the morning when the Saviour rose, 
Sealing our hope of immortality ; 
And that remembrance in thy light still glows ; 
More than the rainbow's promise is with thee, 
Teaching where comfort lies when trials come, 
Or o'er life's gladness pass dark shadows from the 
tomb. 

We mourn for friends still loved, though seen no 

more, — 
We think of what they were, what now they are, — 



OFFERING. 15 

And then the Sabbath sunbeam glances o'er, 
And faith reflects its radiance as a star. 
The past and future fall, like light and shade, 
Across the unknown track which lies between ; 
Then, slowly, one by one, the shadows fade, 
Till hope and memory give, in one bright scene, 
The last brief moments to those loved ones given — 
The next, the very next, the Sabbath day of heaven. 



TO AN ABSENT FRIEND. 



My friend, in hours of thought and care, 
In evening hours of holy musing, 

When converse sweet we wont to share, 
Thy words the balm of peace infusing ; — 

No more I meet thy smile of love, — 

I gaze around the little room, 
And start to hear thy footstep move, 

As it was gently wont to come. 

In vain — in different paths we tread — 
And thou no more mayest soothe or cheer ; 



16 



THE SACRED 



Yet have those hours of friendship shed 
A sweetness that still lingers here. 

And many a deep and holy thought, 
And high resolve, shall breathe of thee ; 

And hours with toils and duties fraught 
Shall consecrate thy memory. 

And when I breathe the voice of praise, 
Or tune the lighter lay of gladness, — 

Or when the fainting prayer I raise 

In the dark hour of pain and sadness, — 

In joy — in grief — thine image still 
Shall beam in brightness on my way ; 

My soul with holier faith to fill, 
And guide me to a happier day. 

Then not in vain have been these scenes, 
Though distance may our love divide ; 

For though the cold world intervenes, 
And time and change our fates betide ; 

Yet life, in all its varying lot, 

Of bliss or suffering, will not view 

The hour when thou wilt be forgot, 
Or friendship's prayer arise less true. 



OFFERING. 17 



THE SABBATH DAY. 



Z\I0R>"1>'G. 

'T is not as when th' Eternal mandate came, 

'Let there be light ! ' that now, sweet Sabbath day, 
Thy opening beams upon my casement play, 
Bidding me life from dreamy sleep reclaim: 
But rather art thou like that blessed hour 
When Jesus burst the fetters of the tomb, 
And the dark visions of our earthly doom 
Fled from the glories of the living power. 
So soft thy rays upon my soul descend, 
The harbingers of faith, and hope, and love, 
Which, through thy quiet day, my soul shall prove 
For Him on whom all earthly joys depend : 
For Him who scatters thus the shades of night, 
And brought His only Son to life and light. 



I hail the radiance of thy noontide beams, 
Dear Sabbath ! blighter than the kindling rays 
That wont to cheer our souls in other days, 

Less blest than thou ; and now all nature seems 



18 THES ACRED 

More joyful and more sweet. The very bird 
Carols more softly in the woodland shade ; 
And as I listen through the opening glade 
The melting sound of village bells is heard. 
'T is silent — then a rich and solemn strain 
From human voices swells upon the air 
With melody divine. And thou art there, 
Spirit of peace, amongst that humble train 
Of thy own followers ; and I bless the power 
That dwells around me in this Sabbath hour. 

EVENING. 

Now in the stillness of the evening hour — 
A Sabbath stillness — I would bend my way 
Far from the haunts of men, where gently play 
The sun's departing rays on eveiy flower, 
Closing in seeming sleep their dewy leaves ; 
Or, 'mid the scene of man's mortality, 
With eye uplifted to the deep blue sky, 
Rest on the mother earth, who still receives 
Her children to a cold and long embrace. 
But not for ever! — she shall yield again 
The forms we loved so well, and not in vain 
Shall be their slumbers in this sacred place ; — 
That which is sown in earth, shall bloom above, 
In the pure heaven where dwells eternal love. 



OFFERING. 19 



Blest is the Sabbath night, when silence keeps 
Her faithful vigil o'er the slumbering world ; 
When the pure glories of the heavens unfurled, 

Tell of His love and care who never sleeps. 

Blest is the Sabbath night, to him who dares 
To gaze, with tranquil eyes, as darkness falls 
Around his couch of rest ; who then recals 

Past hours of sacred joy, and swift repairs, 

With kindling bosom, to communion sweet 
At an eternal shrine — no conscious dread 
Of unrepented guilt shall haunt his bed ; 

No shades of wasted days his eyes shall greet, 

But softly, as the light of morn arose, 

Shall the calm Sabbath of the Christian close. 



THE PENITENT. 

LUKE, CHAP. VII. 



Low kneeling, o'er the Saviour's couch she bends - 
Where, pale with toil, the pure, the all-perfect lay- 



20 THE SACRED 

And from her dovelike eyes a flood descends 
In tears like rain, melting her soul away. 
And as the heavy drops incessant shower 
Upon those sacred feet, so bruised and bare, 
She, with the long dark ringlets of that hair, 
Which clouding veils her beauty's fading flower, 
Wipes them ; while reverend kisses, humble sighs, 
And penitential groans, successive rise ; — 
She weeps her sin — her heart's un worthiness — 
The pangs of Him who dies to make them less — 
Around, the crowd with whispering murmurs stand — 
Indignant wonder in each bosom burned, 
Contemptuous eyes, the drooping mourner scanned, 
With angry brows, in dark enquiry turned. 
But He, who is all pity, raised his eyes, 
Where love and majesty serenely shone — 
Simon — who loveth best ? — he who the prize 
Hath cheaply purchased, or hath dearly won ? 
From thee — the righteous — these poor wearied feet 
No kind refreshing stream of water cheers, 
Healing these way-worn wounds — no incense sweet— 
But she hath washed them with her falling tears. 
Thou with no friendly kiss salut'st thy guest, 
While on my feet, her lips are fondly prest. 
Because her love is great, her pains shall cease — 
Thy sins are pardoned, daughter — Go in peace. 



OFFERING. 21 



FRIENDS IN HEAVEN. 



Sealed is the voice that used to speak 
So gladly of our loved and lost ; 

And at their names pale is the cheek, 

Even of the friends that loved them most. 

A solemn silence shrines the dead — 
A sacred hush — a faltering tone ; 

And trembling footsteps slowly tread 
Upon the spot so late their own. 

Not thus I feel their hourly loss — 
J think of them in light and love ; 

Emblem of life, I view the cross, 
And faith's fond gaze I turn above. 

I miss them — ah ! in every place ; 

I sometimes feel the unbidden tear ; 
I cherish every fading trace, 

But never, never wish them here. 

Their tears are past, their crown is won, 
Th' immortal wreath is all their own ; 
2 



22 THESACRED 

I seem to hear the chaunt begun, 
Of joy around th' eternal throne. 

Yes, thoughts of peace and holiness 
Surround their images ; to me, 

'T is not a feeling of distress 

To muse on their loved memory. 

'Tis hope, 'tis triumph, and 'tis praise; 

O God ! to thee be glory given, 
Who, in the darkest of our days, 

Hath linked us to the bliss of heaven. 

I will not yield this pure delight 
To vain regrets or faithless sighs ; 

Memory to me shall shine, a light 
To blend our severed destinies. 



THE PARTING. 



She saw him go — her heart foretold 
A long, a final parting there ; 

She pressed him in a lingering fold, 
She shed on him a mother's tear — 



OFFERING. 23 

He bent his face — he bent and wept — 
Trembling he thought of coming years ; 

And on the breast where he had slept, 
In infant days, he poured warm tears. 

Another blessing — one more kiss, 

And then the exile turned away ; 
And was it for an hour like this 

That on her knee he wont to play. 

O were her tenderness and love, 
Her long, long w T atchings all forgot, 

That he, with careless foot, can move 
To where her smile must greet him not ? 

And can he go, and leave her now, 
When age and sorrow leave their trace 

On that pale cheek and furrowed brow, 
Nor linger in that last embrace ? 

Mother, farewell ! one moment more, 
His manly bosom swelled too fast ; 

His arms from her fond grasp he tore, 
And gave one gaze — it was the last. 

He came again in after time — 

No gentle voice fell on his ear ; 
He came from a far distant clime — 

Alas ! no mother's smile was there. 



24 THESACRED 

And yet the wanderer sought the spot 
Where those last words had blest the air ; 

Each look, each feeling unforgot, 
He poured his fond remembrance there. 

And as he bent again, and wept 
Where he had fondly wept before ; 

And thoughts that long had slumbered swept 
Across his heart — a thrilling store : 

There seemed to breathe a soothing voice — 
My child, my sufferings all are o'er; 

O! check those bitter tears — rejoice, 
And seek me on th' eternal shore. 



SONNET. 



He who denied his Lord, at the mild gaze 

Of his reproaching eye turned round, and wept ; 

A thousand troubled thoughts his bosom swept, 

And better had he borne heaven's angiy blaze, 

Than that meek glance, that look of sorrowing love, 

Which with such deep remorse his bosom filled. 



OFFERING. 25 

Ah ! do not Christian duties unfulfilled 
Bear our denial to the throne above ? 
And as we hear the mild and sacred law 

Which marks our faithlessness, O do not we 

Review our careless life indignantly, 
And feel a holier hope our bosoms draw 
To that blest word, that pure, reproving light, 
Which beams with heaven's own radiance on our 
sight. 



THE LAND OF THE BLEST. 



c Dear father, I ask for my mother in vain, 
Has she sought some far country, her health to regain ? 
Has she left our cold climate of frost and of snow, 
For some warm, sunny land, where the soft breezes 

blow?' 
8 Yes, yes, gentle boy, thy loved mother has gone 
To a climate where sorrow and pain are unknown ; 
Her spirit is strengthened, her frame is at rest, 
There is health, there is peace, in the Land of the 

Blest!' 

2* 



26 THE SACRED 

' Is that land, my dear father, more lovely than ours, 
Are the rivers more clear, and more blooming the 

flowers ? 
Does Summer shine over it all the year long? 
Is it cheered by the glad sound of music and song ? ' 
' Yes, the flowers are despoiled not by winter or night, 
The well-springs of life, are exhaustless and bright, 
And by sweet voices sweet hymns are addrest 
To the Lord, who reigns o'er the Land of the Blest.' 

e Yet that land to my mother will lonely appear ; 
She shrunk from the glance of a stranger, while here ; 
From her foreign companions I know she will flee, 
And sigh, dearest father, for you and for me.' 
' My darling, thy mother delightest to gaze 
On the long severed friends of her earliest days ; 
Her parents have there found a mansion of rest, 
And they welcome their child to the Land of the Blest.' 

6 How I long to partake of such meetings of bliss, 
That land must be surely more happy than this ; 
On you, my kind father, the journey depends, 
Let us go, to my mother, her kindred and friends.' 
' Not on me, love ; I trust I may reach that bright 

clime, 
But in patience, I stay, till the Lord's chosen time, 
And must strive, while awaiting his gracious behest, 
To guide thy young steps to the Land of the Blest. 



OFFERING. 27 

< Thou must toil through a world, full of danger, my 

boy; 
Thy peace it may blight and thy virtue destroy; 
Nor wilt thou, alas! be withheld from its snares 
By a mother's kind counsels, a mother's fond prayers. 
Yet fear not ; the God whose direction we crave, 
Is mighty to strengthen, to shield, and to save, 
And his hand may yet lead thee, a glorified guest, 
To the home of thy mother, the Land of the Blest. 5 



NATURE. 



Go, child of nature, to thy mother's breast, 
And learn the lesson she can teach so well ; 

No longer in the lap of folly rest, 

But hear the truths that nature loves to tell. 

Go to the forest when the tempest lowers — 
List to the roaring of the mighty wind ; 

Ask by what force the raging torrent pours, 
Or why the wilderness it leaves behind. 

Go to the bubbling fountain and the rill, 
Or mark the gentle fall of silent dew ; 



28 THE SACRED 

Ask whence the stream its wasted course shall fill, 
Or who the lapse of waters will renew. 

Go to the bee, and watch its daily toil, 

And ask what sweetens labor and repose ; 
Who bears it onward, laden rich with spoil, 
And guides it home to rest at evening's close. 

Go to the bird, that seeks her leafy nest, 

To guard her young-ones with her sheltering wings ; 

Ask who it is that plumes her downy breast, 
And tunes her voice to music while she sings. 

Go to the streamlet, murmuring through the vale — 
Gaze on the wreathing flowers that o'er it twine ; 

Will they not tell their own untutored tale, 
And say ' The hand that made us is divine.' 



SHEPHERD OF ISRAEL. 



Shepherd of Israel, hear my prayer, 
And to my cry give heed : 

Shepherd of Israel, lead me where 
Thy flocks in safety feed. 



OFFERING. 29 

Whether upon the barren hills, 

Or on the desert bare, 
Strike but thy rod, the purest rills 

And greenest herbs are there. 

The shadow of a mighty rock 

Is in that weary land ; 
And heavenly dews fall on the flock 

Protected by thy hand. 

The winds that blight, the wolves that slay, 

In vain their fury spend ; 
Thy crook of love points out the way, 

Thy gracious arms defend. 

Lead me, O lead me to thy fold, 

Earth has no rest beside ; 
Shepherd of Israel, known of old, 

Be only thou my guide. 

Whether the way be dark and drear, 

Or flowery, bright, and fair, 
Shepherd of Israel, be thou near, 

And keep my footsteps there. 

Whether where trees of Lebanon 

Or tents of Kedar rise, 
Shepherd of Israel, lead me on — 

My home is in the skies. 



30 THESACRED 



COMMUNION WITH GOD. 



Sweet is the mother's midnight prayer, 
Breathed on her slumbering infant's cheek ; 

And sweet the thoughts that hover there, 
And even her watchful pillow seek. 

Oh yes, 't is blest — yet can this vie 

With faith and hope's uplifted eye ? 

'T is sweet to meet the smile of love, 
And cull the opening flowers of youth ; 

And, in a cherished home, to prove 
Of former hopes the raptured truth ; 

But is it not more sweet to bend, 

When prayers and tears to heaven ascend ? 

And fortune — - in her brightest hour, 

While mirth and pleasure round her shine, 

Has she one joy like the deep power 
Of silent trust that now is thine ? 

One smile so blest as that which glows, 

As we the holy page unclose ? 

O think it not : there cannot be 
On earth a joy so pure and high, 



OFFERING. 31 

As when the soul to God would flee, 

And communes with eternity ; 
Draws from the living spring its bliss, 
And turns to heaven for happiness. 

The mother's dearest one may fade, 
The lover's smile grow pale or cold ; 

Even home's calm hope the darkening shade 
Of later life forbid to hold ; 

But what shall fail the humble heart, 

Which in eternity has part ? 

O do not doubt — no, not though care, 
And grief, and struggling clays be thine ; 

Go, pour thy burthened heart in prayer, 
For peace shall meet thee on that shrine ; 

Nor think one happier path is trod, 

Than that which leads the soul to God. 



32 THESACRED 



THE CHRISTIAN DAUGHTER. 



Where should a widowed father rest 

His head, but on a daughter's breast ? 

When age, with trembling step, is near, 

And happiest hours are dimmed with fear, 

And weakening hand, and shortening breath, 

Come like the harbingers of death ; 

And brief the space that lies between 

Sweet converse and the eternal scene ; 

O ! where, when aged, tired, opprest, 

Where should a father seek for rest ? 

Kind cares and watchful love should try 

To meet the wishes of his eye, 

And gentleness should be the power 

To sweeten life's declining hour, 

And love should lighten and sustain 

Days of infirmity and pain, 

And soft as prayer should be the tread 

Of footstep round the aching head, 

And many a deep and holy thought, 

Of fond affection's influence wrought, 

In tender duty should expand 

Kind look, meek word, and willing hand. 



OFFERING. 33 

Yes ! when the world is fading fast, 
And every effort feels the last, 
And all around is sadly loved, 
And soon perhaps to be removed, 
And sorrows others may not share 
Come in the hour of thought and prayer, 
With many a lonely, untold grief, 
Where God alone can give relief; 
O ! then when conflicts of the heart, 
And troubled hopes their strife impart, 
Say what shall soothe, and what shall cheer 
And shew the dawn of heaven is near, 
And light with smiles the path above, — 
O ! what, if not a daughter's love ? 

Yes ! my loved father ! be it mine, 
In faith, in trust, in hope divine. 
Blended with fondest earthly care, 
Thy pains, thy griefs, thine age to share ; 
And never may bright morn arise, 
Or milder evening close my eyes, 
Or blessing be upon my head, 
Unless, though weak, I strive to shed 
Such peace upon thy bright decline, 
As I should wish to hallow mine — 
Such peace upon thy closing hour, 
As suits a daughter's humble power. 
3 



34 THESACRED 



ON BEING RELIEVED FROM SEVERE 
AND LONG-CONTINUED PAIN. 



Great God ! I thank thy boundless love 
For this much- wished relief; 

Teach me to pray ! ' Lord ! I believe, 
Strengthen my unbelief.' 

Teach me to bow beneath thy hand ! 

As did thy own dear Son ! 
Teach me to say, and feel, with him, 

6 Thy will, not mine, be done.' 



THE GRAVE. 



What is life, that we should sigh 
To quit this weary breath, 

And on the quiet bed to lie, 
Which is called death ? 



OFFERING. 35 

Ambition does not enter there, 

And interest toils no more ; 
The feeble lips breathe only prayer — 

The strife is o'er. 

Youth's anxious race is run, 

And manhood's cares are past, 
And age the meed has won 

Of rest at last. 

No broken hope is here, 

No fortune's troubled wave ; 
No bitter worldly tear 

Bedews the grave. 

The day no longer glares 

On the dim and aged eye ; 
The heart forgets its cares, 

When fixed on high. 

There's poverty around, 

But the dying has no fear ; 
There's thunder — but no sound 

Disturbs his ear. 

No ! he who goes to God 

Has not a thought to spare ; 
His soul is on the road, 

His thoughts are prayer. 



36 THE SACRED 

And one, them all above, 

Gives comfort to his breast — 

It is that God is love ; 
This is his rest. 



TKS ADIEU. 



Home of my happiest years, 

Where my young feet delighted strayed 

Among life's loveliest flowers ; 
And, all unknown to fears, 
Hope's brightening halo round me played, 

And led the light- winged hours. 

In the sad waste of days 
Which I am doomed to track 

Across a path of care, 
Fond memory still delays, 
And casts a long look back 

On scenes so sweet and fair. 

O they were dear — the dark green groves, 
The flowers, the garden's sunny pride, 



OFFERING. 37 

All nature in her blushing smile ; 
And dear their earliest, happiest loves, 
Which first awoke affection's tide, 

Nor time nor parting feared the while. 

But we are scattered — to the world, 
On its unquiet ocean cast, 

From our sweet home of rest ; 
And, by the sudden tempest hurled, 
We struggle with the blast ; 

Yet by a saviour-star may still be blest. 

Its light is on us — calm in Heaven, 
Serenely bright, its hallowing ray 

Shall guide us to repose ; 
Eternal hope, in mercy given, 
To beam on our benighted way, 

And lull our mortal woes. 

Sweet home, adieu ! the sighing wind 
Makes lonely music through thy hall — 

None hear its melody. 
Yet still I cast a look behind, 
And give a parting tear to all 

That was so dear to me. 
3* 



38 THE SACRED 



IMMORTALITY. 



never shall my soul the thoughts forego, 
Of high and pure intent, that lead me on 
To virtue's heights, and the immortal crown, 

Wreathed of the flowers that in heaven's garden grow 
What though 1 tread a path of tears and woe, 
Nor mortal joy attendant on my way, 
The light of hope shall 'mid the darkness play, 
And purer pleasures teach my heart to glow. 

1 long to join the blissful band on high, 
The spirits of the just, who overcame 
The bonds of sin, and whose undying fame 

Shall guide me to their glorious destiny. 
Then shrink not, O my soul ! but undismayed, 
Seek for the crown of life which will not fade. 



OFFERING. 39 



THE FORSAKEN. 



O thou whose brow, serene and calm, 

From earthly stain is free, 
View not with scorn that lost one's fate, 

— She once was pure like thee. 

Though in thy lovely form and face 

Health's rosy glow we see, 
Yet shrink not from that faded form 

— She once was fair like thee ! 

Thou in thy father's home may dwell, 

In peace and purity ; 
Yet pity her, though friendless now, 

— She once was blest like thee. 

Perchance the smiles of love are thine, 

Its joyful ecstasy; 
Then weep for that forsaken one, 

— She once was loved like thee. 

And still, 'mid shame, and guilt, and woe, 
One Being loves her still ! 



40 THE SACRED 

Who makes thee blest, and pours on her 
The world's extremest ill. 

He knows the secret lure that led 

Her youthful steps astray ; 
He knows that thou, in all thy pride, 

Might fall from Him away ; 

Then, with the love of him who said, 

' Depart, and sin no more,' 
Shield from despair that wretched one, 

And bid her pangs be o'er. 



TO A DAUGHTER, ON THE DAY OF HER 
MARRIAGE. 



The bird that in the parent breast 
Hath sheltered many a day, 

Will leave at last the downy nest, 
To wing its joyful way. 

Thou, like the bird, my daughter dear, 
Hast bade thy home adieu, 



OFFERING. 41 

Whilst cares, that ask a larger sphere, 
Are open in g on thy view. 

This arm hath been thy constant shield, 

My counsels always thine ; 
To him thou gavest thy heart I yield 

What duties erst were mine. 

If parents' love and sister's prayers 

Can aught with heaven avail, 
No darkling ills, no bitter cares, 

Will e'er thy peace assail. 

And now thou bear'st from kindred hearts 

The wishes, deep and pure, 
That every blessing life imparts 

With thee may still endure. 

With joy thy onward course pursue, 

For love is by thy side ; 
He that to thee hath been so true, 

Is now thy guard and guide. 



42 THE SACKED 



RECOGNITION. 



C I felt that, however long to me 

The slumber of the grave might be, 

I should know him again, 'mid the countless throng 

Who shall bear their part in the Seraphim's song.' 

Miss L. E. Landon. 



How shall we know them — the holy dead, 
Whom we left alone in their narrow bed ? 
What if remembrance have power to trace 
Minutest lines of each buried face ; 
What if the form we so fondly love, 
With us in dreams of affection move ? 
We had looked our last on a marble brow, 
We brook not to think it altered now ; 
But great and total the change must be 
Ere it put off the garb of mortality. 

How shall we know him — the one who died 
Like a shock of corn in autumn pride ; 
Her, whom we know by her pallid cheek, 
By sickness blighted, by grief made weak ? 



OFFERING. 43 

Not by the gleam of their silver hair, 

Not by the traces of time and care; 

But by the feelings, more deeply shrined, 

The feelings that dwell in the changeless mind; 

By a child-like love — the love we felt 

In earthly homes, where our parents dwelt. 

How shall we know them ? who passed away 

In all the freshness of early day ; 

Those whom we cherished hi later years, 

From whom we parted with bitter tears ? 

Not by the beauty which marked them then ; 

O were it such it must fade again : 

But by a gladness which round them plays 

Like a joy revived from our olden days ; 

By the holy joys our spirits knew, 

Which a better world shall again renew. 

How shall we know them, — the infant race ; 
How will the mother her loved one trace ? 
Not by the glance of his sunny eye, 
'T was but a gleam o'er mortality ; 
Not by his look when he sunk to rest, 
A closing flower on her throbbing breast ; 
But by a feeling like that which burned, 
When her heart o'er the guileless stranger, 

yearned ; 
By a thrill like that, which, when first he smiled, 
Came o'er her soul, will she know her child. 



44 THESACRED 

ECCLESIASTES I. 7. 

1 All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is not full.' 



The rivers of earth, from a thousand springs, 

Flow on to their ocean home ; 
And their cool, fresh water its sweetness brings, 

To mix with the salt sea foam. 
Onward forever their courses they keep, 
But fill not the caves of the soundless deep. 

And such are the depths of the human soul, — 

That vast unfathomed sea ; 
Unnumbered streams of enjoyment roll, 

To meet its infinity. 
But a void in the heart lieth lonely still, 
Which no earthly fountain can ever fill. 

There are feelings fraught with a soft delight 

From the joyous world around ; 
They bring to our senses the gleam of its light 

And the murmur of its sound. 
Through the secret windings of thought they sweep, 
Their unceasing current ; is still, but deep.' 



OFFERING. 45 

There are streams on whose bosom the breeze has 
played 

Rich with the incense of morn ; [strayed, 

They have caught the breath of flowers, as they 

Through valleys of waving corn ; 
They have borne the music of bird and bee, — 
But what are all these, to the deep, deep sea ? 

There are high emotions, that stir the mind 

With a wild, delirious thrill, 
As if awe and gladness their might combined, 

One stream of enjoyment to fill ; • 
That the strong excitement its current bore, 
Fulness of bliss on the soul might pour. 

It is but as storm-swollen torrents sink, 
When they reach the boundless shore ; 

'T is the cataract's rush to the ocean's brink — 
Its grandeur is felt no more : 

Rapid its course is, and great is its fall, 

But the deep where it goeth is greater than all. 

With sources of knowledge, rich, deep, and fair, 

All nature doth overflow ; 
But this single truth on their breast they bear, 

" How little is all ye know ! " 
And their gurgling flow has a hollow sound, 
On the verge of that ocean which hath no bound. 
4 



46 THE SACRED 

There yet is a river, whose silver light 
Seems caught from the smile of heaven ; 

Those kindly affections, so hallowed and bright, 
Which even to earth are given : 

It visits the lowly and barren spot — 

Where is there a heart which it entereth not ? 

But though sweet as a spring 'midst a desert's sand, 

Pure as the evening dew, 
And blest as the stream which the prophet's hand 

From the rock of Horeb drew ; 
Yet small is its compass, and weak its might, 
When it merges in that which is infinite. 

O who can scan the immortal soul, 

Or the bound of its powers can see ? 
We can mete the ocean, from pole to pole, 

What its length and breadth must be ; 
But its depth still lieth unknown — unseen — 
There line and plummet have never been. 

But while fountain, or river, or torrent fails 

To fill the insatiate main, 
O'er the world of waters a power prevails, 

That leads it, as with a chain ; 
It passes silently over the sea, 
And the surges arise in their majesty. 



OFFERING. 47 

That power may descend upon wings of light, 

From that sun which enlivens all ; 
Or at the still hour of lonely night, 

In the track of the moon beams fall ; 
But the wave that swelleth the whelming tide, 
From the deep's own fountains must be supplied. 

x\nd though, 'midst the fulness of mortal things, 

With the restless heart must be 
That yearning for greater good which clings 

To its immortality, 
There is, in its own unmeasured recess, 
A source for the spring tide of happiness. 

Our life may seem useless, and unenjoyed, 

And pass like a dreamy sleep. 
When the earth was as yet without form and void, 

And darkness spread over the deep, 
The Spirit of God on the waters passed, 
And the light of his presence around was cast. 

And if through the spirit's unfathomed ways 

There roll not the torrent of sin, 
He whose eye, through the darkness without, surveys 

The gleam of the world within, 
Will breathe o'er the silence the breath of his might, 
And say to its nothingness, ' Let there be light.' 



48 THE SACRED 



THE SPIRIT OF MAN. 



What is this principle we call the mind, 
This element of immortality, 
Unknown, inscrutable, and yet enshrined 
In every form of frail humanity ? 
What is it, that its privilege should be 
The image of th' Eternal One to bear ; 
To make for him a shrine, that he might see 
His own high attributes reflected there, 
E'en as the lowliest flower the tinge of light doth wear. 

Ethereal, spiritual, bright, sublime, 
Finite, yet tending to infinity ; 
Though time-worn, fitted to outlast all time, 
Though lowly, gifted with the power to be 
Progressing to a nobler destiny ; 
Though evil, ever with some good innate, 
Latent, amidst the evil still, since He 
Who formed it is beneficent as great, 
Nor for unmingled ill one being would create. 

The spirit, unto which the things that are 

Of this world are but shadows, and their good 



OFFERING. 49 

But as a gem unto the shining star, 
Which dimly seen in its vast altitude 
Seems but a spark ; — this spirit may elude 
The sense that would its nature comprehend ; 
By its own elevation may delude 
The gaze, that to its splendors would ascend, 
And trace it through that course which shall not have 
an end. 

Man, who is to himself a mystery, 
Amidst Creation's wondrous works goes forth, 
Looks to the distant stars, and longs to be 
Familiar with their glories ; of the worth 
Of things around he thinks not : yet this earth 
Is filled with beings, each, with the rich store 
Of energies to which it giveth birth, 
Itself a world ; these let him number o'er, 
And find how much remains for science to explore. 

Man on this fertile world may look, and know 
To him her treasures and her fruits are lent ; 
For him her mountains rise, her rivers flow, 
For him her oceans spread their vast extent ; 
Each hath its part, all tending to augment 
His happiness, as to their common goal, 
Fulfilling each the mission all were sent 
To minister of gladness to that soul, 
Which animates, and warms, and dignifies the whole. 
4 * 



50 THE SACRED 

The freshness and the loveliness that dwell 
On the cool mountain, in the woody glade, 
The cheerful sounds that echo thro' the glen, 
The blended influence of light and shade, 
The voice of winds and waters, — all are made 
For man, his heart the shrine that sanctifies 
All nature's gifts, most holy, when they aid, 
His happiness, whose songs of joy arise 
Like incense ever pure ascending to the skies. 

All these must change ; — the lowly flowers must die, 
Beside the pathway which their tints make bright ; 
The forest's leaves like worthless things must lie 
On the brown, withered turf; — the towering height 
Of cloudcapt hills must bow; — the unconquered 

might 
Of the proud wave shall fail ; — the waterfall 
Shall cease, with its white foam, to sport with light ; 
The stars themselves from their high place shall fall, 
And o'er the realm of suns shall darkness spread her 

pall. 

'T is something *midst this dying world to feel, 
That there is that within this mortal mould 
Which cannot die. 'T is good awhile to steal 
Away from life's delusions, to behold 
The pure, true world of Nature, and to hold 
Communion with our hearts in silence there ; 



OFFERING. 51 

To watch the sun sink, where clouds fringed with 

gold 
A promise of his glorious rising wear, 
And theu our life's duration unto his compare — 

Our own immortal life. It would be bliss 
To feel ourselves the beings that we are, 
But for the thought of what the spirit is, 
And what it might be. We ourselves debar 
From knowledge, lest we find how severed far 
The purpose of our life by God assigned, 
And that we make its purpose. First we mar 
The powers for better, nobler ends designed, 
Then fear to mete the span of a perverted mind. 

'T is beautiful to think what mind may be, 
Pure, bright, exalted ; but a little placed 
Below the angels is humanity. 
'Tis fearful to look round and see the waste 
Of human intellect, — the dark lines traced, 
Where every mark of mind the withering breath 
Of ignorance hath from the brow erased ; 
The apathy that shows a moral death, 
The worse than death, that lurks an eye of fire beneath. 

A holy thing is life in him, whose mind 
Dwelleth with God, amidst his works profound, 
As if within his sacred presence shrined, 
1 Unspotted by the world,' yet ever found 



52 THE SACRED 

With the concerns of earth that press around, 
Mingling for good. All nature is to him 
Instinct with God ; he deems its every sound 
An echo of the everlasting hymn, 
Its light a gleam of that, which never shall be dim. 

What would it seem would we but stoop to track 
A spirit through its dark and dread career ; 
To mark the gleam of feeling, and the rack 
Of passion, or the tempest-strife of fear ; 
To see its better nature re-appear 
By fitful starts. Then, too severely tried, 
Encompassed within a narrow sphere 
By evil influence, on every side, [defied. 

Yield to that power which seems too strong to be 

Life hath its contrasts — its realities 
Which make humanity itself aghast. 
Death hath its contrasts. In its present lies 
Revealed the irrevocable past, 
That soothes, or haunts the spirit to the last. 
Imagination paints the perfect peace 
Around the last hours of the righteous cast, 
How love grows strong, and faith and hope increase 
Their power within the heart, till its faint throbbings 



Then thought reverts, and mingles in the strife 
Of human hearts, waiting the doom accurst, — 



OFFERING. 53 

Death by a human hand : in them all life 
Concentrates in the thought of death, the worst 
Of deaths. The scene minutely is rehearsed 
A thousand times ; — its infamy, its pain, 
Each step of that foul process, from the first, 
When the yet living body joins the train, 
Till, as a hideous mass, it is brought back again. 

These all are men. And are all men the same 
In their souls' inwrought capabilities, — 
In the pure guilelessness in which they came 
From their Creator's hands, — in all the ties 
Which form the chain of human sympathies, — 
All living for the same eternity ? 
O God ! and do we sport with vanities, 
While each inheritor of life might be 
Made worthy to fulfil its highest destiny ? 

Too well content to keep one beaten path, 
And toil, or trifle through our little day, 
We heed not what the world beyond us hath 
Of scenes, that it were madness to display 
6 If ignorance be bliss ; ' therefore we say, 
Who hath appointed unto us the task 
To scan the spirit 'neath the shroud of clay ? 
Far better that it still should wear its mask ; 
We know not of its ill, why should we wish to ask ? 



54 THE SACRED 

Yet there are moments when the fettered soul 
Rises above the dreams of sophistry ; 
Taketh its place beyond its weak control, 
And looks on earth as with a spirit's eye ; 
Pavilioned by the silence of the sky, 
And girt with light to make its vision true, 
Man stands unveiled before its scrutiny ; 
It sees the germ from which his passions grew ; 
The future seems to pass beneath its piercing view. 

It marks the thousands passing to and fro, 
Unceasingly, upon earth's tranquil breast. 
Whence do they come, and whither do they go ? 
Is that a subject worthy of no quest? 
'T is answered, — for on every brow impressed 
In living characters, which all may read, 
Is something of life's history expressed, 
The vestige of the thoughts which prompt the deed, 
Which leave their traces there, as slowly they recede. 

The happy tillers of a grateful soil, 
In hope who scatter, who in gladness reap, 
Have the free bearing earned by manly toil, 
The spirit of the woods they round them keep ; 
Bright are their eyes, who sleep the happy sleep 
Of innocence, and waken in its glow. 
Art has her treasures and her secrets deep, 
And all her votaries, her worth who know, 
Have something of the pride of science on their brow. 



OFFERING. 55 

In the thronged city — one with tranquil mien 
Speeds to the circle round the lighted hearth ; 
Another glides to mingle in the scene, 
Where feasts and music meet to waken mirth, 
And kindle wild emotions into birth ; 
Some seek retirement, lone as convent cell, 
To bend o'er ancient lore, of dubious worth. 
If with each differing spirit all were well, 
How gladly would the mind upon the picture dwell. 

But there is yet behind a drearier scene ; 
The peopled haunts another aspect wear ; 
Midst wealth and splendor wasted forms are seen, 
Victims of ceaseless toil, and want, and care ; 
And there the sterner nature that will dare 
To live, though life be bought with infamy ; 
There guilt's bold emissaries spread their snare, 
Who law, or human or divine, defy, 
And live but to perpetuate crime and misery. 

Are these the offspring of the living God ! 
Children of earth, yet training for the skies, 
Creatures for whom Emanuel hath trod 
The vale of death, and borne its agonies ! 
When in these evil ones we recognize 
Spirits endowed like those, whose living light 
Makes human nature precious in our eyes, 
Comparison develops to our sight [might. 

Truths, it were well to feel in all their power and 



56 THES ACRED 

It needeth no prophetic eye to see 
How many yet must the same ruin share ; 
Infants, now cradled on a mother's knee, 
Whose simple comforts loving hands prepare ; 
Children, who seldom know a parent's care, 
In whom the woes of elder years are seen ; 
Whose earliest steps must be upon a snare, 
Unless some watchful stranger intervene, 
And stand those frail young things and the dark gulf 
between. 

Have ye not heard all this, ye sons of men, 
Or hearing have ye deemed it untrue ? 
Then from your happy homes look forth again. 
Alas ! such beings pass before your view 
In every walk of life, or old or new. 
Ye meet them in the crowded thoroughfare, 
And in the woodland paths your boyhood knew. 
Ye cannot kneel within the house of prayer, 
But the pale child of want will be beside you there. 

The worldling doth an ample storehouse plan, 
' To lay up many goods ; ' now, as of old ; 
And thus he speaketh to his fellow man : 
i Have I not hungered, thirsted, toiled for gold, 
Through weary nights and days ? Have I not doled 
Out, in the bitter bread of charity, 



OFFERING. 57 

A portion of my treasure ? Now, behold ! 
My hands are pure : many the slaves may be 
Of ignorance, or guilt, — but what is that to me ? ' 

While pleasure whispers : * Time is thine to spend 
E'en as thou listest, — take thy little all, 
This life and its enjoyments soon must end ; 
Then crown thyself with roses ere they fall.' 
How many listen to the syren call ! 
Philanthropy a dull, tame jest they deem 
To their pursuits, full quickly though they pall; 
But as the very dross of earth may seem 
Those lost and lowly ones, unto their fever dream. 

And gentle woman — she has passed them by, 
To pluck the wild flowers ere their buds unfold, 
To bathe her spirit in the mystery 
Of high-wrought legends, and romances old ; 
Her place midst Fashion's priestesses to hold ; 
If Time to her bis footsteps seem to stay, 
And some new joy she languish to behold, 
Little she knows what thrilling interests may 
Be found with them from whom in scorn she turns 
away. 

Thus speaks the broken hearted : ' I have shed 
Vain tears for the unfaithful ; now I prove 
5 



58 THE SACRED 

The bitterness of waitings for the dead. 
No more can earthly joy rny spirit move ; 
Now is my prayer to Him who rules above, 
To bear without complaint His sovereign will. 
Tell me not there are beings yet, whose love 
The restless yearnings of my soul can still ; [fill.' 
Oh ! they are not my own, that they the void should 

' Am I my brother's keeper ? ' he did ask, 
Who first a brother smote. He did essay 
Before the all-seeing One his brow to mask 
In ignorance. And in this latter day, 
When thousands sink to worse than death, a prey 
To want, or to neglect a sacrifice, 
From whose still animate and sentient clay 
A living voice goes up unto the skies, 
4 Am I my brother's keeper?' man again replies. 

And God hath answered — not by flames of fire,- 
4 His messengers : ' not as on Sinai, 
By voice of thunders which, as though in ire, 
Pealed forth the terrors of His majesty, 
But by communion with our spirits, — by 
The ensamples of his everlasting love 
Which are around, — by precepts from on high 
In peace and mercy sent, which bid us prove, 
By love to man below, our faith in God above. 



OFFERING. Olf 

We cannot think upon the Deity, 
On His perfections, on the magnitude 
Of His unnumbered mercies ; nor can see 
The inanimate creation so imbued 
With something of the unimagined good 
Which dwells with Him, but w T e must long to find 
Each living spirit with that good endued, 
That image of Himself, which God designed 
To be for ever stamped upon th' immortal mind. 

We cannot feel the wild and sweet excess 
Of joy within our spirits, but we yearn 
To make mankind partake our happiness ; 
The range of our own powers we cannot learn, 
And feel high impulses within us burn ; 
We cannot Truth in her deep beauty see, 
And feel our minds exalted, but we turn 
A lingering look from our acclivity 
To those below, who are less highly blessed than we. 

There is a chain unseen, yet strong to bind, 
Which links us to our fellows. Desolate 
Is he who wears it not. ' If human kind 
Have all one human heart,' however fate 
Makes men to differ, can we separate 
From our own hopes and interests above, 
The love of those our Father did create, 
Or cease to wish they should themselves approve, 
Not subjects of his power, but children of his love ? 



60 THE SACRED 

These are the thoughts that make us watch and 

weep 
Over the children of depravity, 
And feel it is a glorious work to keep 
One falling mind from ruin. Who but He 
Who made us, maketh nature's voice to be 
So strong within us ? If yet once again 
We question our responsibility 
For the well being of our fellow men, [then. 

And our own hearts reply, — 't is God who answers 

But Nature's teachings, gracious and sublime, 

Are yet the lowliest it is ours to seek. 

God, who at intervals in olden time 

Did by the mouth of his great prophets speak, 

In these last days, girded with light, did break 

Through the thick darkness that had veiled his 

throne ; 
Proclaimed glad tidings to the pure and meek, 
Made his long-suffering love and mercy known, 
And blessed all human kind in his beloved Son. 

Christ, who this earth in which we dwell hath trod, 

Who the great work of our salvation wrought, 

Revealed unto men the unknown God, 

And knowledge from the fount of wisdom brought ; 

Revealed man unto himself, and taught 

Unto his spirit its own dignity. 

That knowledge kings and prophets vainly sought 



OFFERING. 61 

Of the imperishable soul, may be 
Found in the blessed words, — Life — Immortality. 

'T is thus we honor all men, looking forth 
From what they are, to that which they will be, 
And viewing each invested with the worth 
Conferred by his life's eternity, 
The christian venerates humanity, 
Looketh with joy unspeakable on those 
Whose virtues clothe it with sublimity ; 
Yes, loves it 'midst its errors and its woes, [stows. 
And on its least concerns his thoughts and care be- 

Who, that hath known the spirit, what it is, 
The high perfection which it may attain, 
Who feels its vast capacity for bliss, 
Its fearful capability of pain, 
Can look with apathy on man again, 
And see how guilt enthrals, alike the weak 
Who knows not, feels not, that he wears the chain, 
And him who'mourns the yoke he cannot break, 
To whose bowed spirit, none of hope and mercy speak? 

That God who hath appointed us such joy 
The measure of another's bliss to fill, 
Will lend us talents worthy the employ, 
Will give us power to work His righteous will, 
And He will be our guide, our helper still. 
5* 



62 THE SACRED 

Though weak may be our efforts, there is none 
Unfit that holiest duty to fulfil, 
Though by minutest services alone, 
Small as the ceaseless drop that wears away the stone. 

However deep may be the shade of sin, 
There is in every human mind a way 
By which the light of truth may enter in. 
What though the spirit seem to shun the ray, 
And cling to evil — faith and patience may 
The dark suggestions of despair refute. 
Night seemeth deepest ere the dawn of day ; 
The withered plant may quicken at the root ; 
How many sow the seed, who may not see the fruit. 

Nature, whose beauty may refine the heart, 
Its better feelings rouse, its worse subdue, 
Not all unaided can perform her part : 
The exhilarating morn, the sky's deep blue, 
The quivering moonbeam, and the silent dew, 
The fresh green leaves just bursting from their stem, 
These are her agencies, and yet the hue [gem, 
Thrown o'er, which makes each flower appear a 
The sweetness and the light are not alone of them. 

What is all beauty, but the spirit's power 
To feel and love the beautiful ; to find 



OFFERING. 63 

Within its own vast depths the mighty dower 
Of keen perceptions, and of sense refined ? 
What is all music, but the gift of mind 
Which yields the melody — Nature can afford 
Only the power to call it forth. The wind 
Sweeps like a seraph's touch across the chord, 
But in itself the tone of music's voice is stored. 

Perception of the beautiful, which can 
Make paths of pleasantness of all life's ways, 
May be the precious gift of man to man. 
He who the Universe aright surveys, 
And to its good directs another's gaze, 
Opens a new creation to his view, 
O'er which awakened sense with rapture strays. 
The conqueror, who empires doth subdue, 
Looks not upon the world with pleasure half so true. 

If there be evergreens in summer's wreath, 
If there be aught in nature which survives 
Time's withering touch and winter's chilly breath, 
It is the exalting feeling which she gives 
To him, who conscious of her presence lives; 
The joy, the freshness, and the purity, 
The spirit from her influence receives, 
Which, passing rapidly o'er land and sea, [ergy. 
Gleans something of her light, her strength, her en- « 



64 THE SACRED 

Spirit of man ! thou hast a mighty range, 
Thought is thy envoy, speeding every where, 
With other spirits seeking interchange; 
Imagination in her high career 
Maketh the universe itself thy sphere : 
Reason thou hast, her watchful guard to keep : 
Judgment, to pierce the shades of doubt and fear : 
Foresight is thine : Memory, that will not sleep : 
Affection, with her train of feelings strong and deep. 

Thou mantlest in the glow of early life, 
Thou shinest from a thousand brilliant eyes, 
Thou risest up, and growest strong by strife, 
And great, by putting forth thy energies: 
Grief, that doth seem to dim thee, purifies: 
Truly, thine is a nature to revere. 
Too oft a shroud of evil o'er thee lies : 
When in thy native worth thou dost appear, 
In air, or earth, or ocean thou hast no compeer. 

There 's grandeur in the proudly swelling wave, 
And in the cataract, dashing loud and free; 
In the tall cliff, which booming waters lave ; 
And, where the lightning cloud rolls gorgeously, 
In mountain realms of vast acclivity : 
A 'little one' # lies gazing at their feet, — 

*'One of these little ones.' — Matt, xviii. 14. 



OFFERING. 65 

He has the spirit of sublimity ; 
He has the mind their loftiness to greet, 
There all their images in one grand focus meet. 

Bring beauty from her dwellings of the air, 
Where, as on wings of light, fair creatures sweep ; 
From her recesses in the ocean, where 
Bright coral rocks and glittering pearls lie deep, 
And in their tinted homes small fishes sleep : 
Bring sweetness from the forest-side, where rove 
Pale wilding flowers, where tender mosses creep, 
Yet there is beauty still all these above, 
The charm of kindly deeds, the gentleness of love. 

Snatch riches from the rock of adamant, 
Where emeralds and sapphires lie below ; 
Call on the dust its crumbling gold to grant ; 
Unto the mine, its silver to bestow. 
Hard hands are toiling where these shine or glow, 
Above their bed a brow of darkness lowers ; 
Their worth the very infant learns to know, 
And has not he, with all his untried powers 
More in the sight of God, — alas, w T hy not in ours? 

Can we with bars and doors shut up the seas, 
And teach the day-spring how to know his place, 
Bind the sweet influence of Pleiades, 
Or guide Arcturus through unbounded space ? 



66 THES ACRED 

Did we spread out the sky like molten glass ? 
The way of light and darkness do we know ? 
Or is it ours the path of death to trace ? 
Can we command the clouds where they shall go, 
Or send the winged lightning glancing to and fro ? 

We cannot, — but a vantage ground is ours, 
Which, all unbounded as the boundless skies, 
Increases still with our increasing powers ; 
Ours is a land of spirits, wherein lies 
A deep with its unfathomed mysteries ; 
Fountains of life unsought are welling there, 
And gleams are flashing, as the lightning flies, 
A thousand burning, shining lights are near, 
And myriad sparks, which might as beautiful ap- 
pear. 

If it were glorious to have kindled [throne, — 
Lamps, that shall burn before th' Almighty's 
Of all the stars that their mild radiance shed, 
If it were noble to have guided one, 
Unconscious of the brightness round it thrown, — 
If it were cause of gladness to have driven 
The lightning by a word, from zone to zone, 
What is it Truth and Virtue to have given 
Unto a spirit, that will pass, ere long, to heaven ? 

It is a beautiful and soothing thought, 

That when mankind shall meet beyond the tomb, 



OFFERING. 67 

There may be found some spirits we have taught 
To fix their hopes upon that world to come ; 
That e'en their final, their decisive doom 
May be affected by the care they knew. 
O ! it were worth long years of toil and gloom 
To see that vision rise from life's review, 
Trusting to sleep in Christ, and wake to find it true. 



ON THE DEPARTURE OF A FRIEND. 



Go ! far from every friend beloved, 

And tempt the stormy wave, 
And, calm in spirit, gaze unmoved 

Upon that watery grave ; 
Though winds and rocks thy doom combine, 
A Father's arm to save is thine ! 

In peril's hour thy trust is true, 

Unguarded goest thou not ; 
Oh ! ever in thy Father's view, 

As in that quiet spot, 
Where first thy earliest vows were paid. 
Within thy home's delightful shade. 



68 THESACRED 

The stormy ocean he will still, 

And hush the tempest's roar, 
And thou thy destined part fulfil, 

When all thy fears are o'er ; — 
Look up to that benignant power 
Who saved thee in that trying hour. 

Are storms and waves — the treacherous deep- 
Are these our only dread ? 

Ah ! dangers far more fearful sleep 
Beneath thy flowery tread, 

When on the peaceful, smiling shore, 

And far beyond the tempest's roar. 

Thou fear'st them not — thy gentle heart 

Bodes not that fearful doom ; 
For pure in hope and faith thou art ; 

And yet such doubts will come, 
Like shadows o'er affection's dream, 
To bid the tears of parents stream. 

That fate — that worst, that saddest fate — 

Oh ! let it not be thine. 
Go forth, with virtuous trust elate, 

And eyes that clearly shine, 
With holy thoughts and spotless fame ; 
Ah ! dim them not with tears of shame ! 



OFFERING. 69 

Return, return, ere yet that blight 
Hath chilled thy youthful breast, 

And seek the scene of young delight, 
Thy former home of rest — 

And all the friends of those glad years, 

When yet thou knew'st not cares nor tears. 

But oh! in every changing scene, 

Still seek thy Father's love; 
Though years of care may intervene, 

Yet place thy trust above ; 
Through weal or woe, through good or ill, 
A Father's love will guide thee still ! 

And he will lead the wanderer back 

Unto his own blest fold, 
As hopes along the desert track 

The wanderer's heart uphold ; 
Whate'er thy fate, where'er thy lot, 
Thy God, thy God, forsake thou not ! 
6 



70 THE SACRED 



ON THE DEATH OF A BEAUTIFUL BOY. 



I saw thee at thy Mother's side 

When she was marble cold, 
And thou wert like some cherub form 

Cast in ethereal mould ; 
But when the pang of sudden grief 

Oppressed thine infant thought, 
And mid thy clear and radiant eye 

A liquid crystal wrought, 
I felt how strong that faith must be 

That breaks a mother's tie, 
And bids her leave her darling's tears 

For other hands to dry. 

1 saw thee in thine hour of sport 

Beside thy father's bower, 
Amid his broad and bright parterre, 

Thyself the fairest flower, 
And heard thy tuneful voice ring out 

Upon the summer air, 
As though some bird of Eden poured 

Its joyous carol there ; 
And lingered with delighted gaze 

On happy childhood's charms, 



OFFERING. 71 

Which once the blest Redeemer loved 
And welcomed to his arms. 

1 saw thee scan the classic page 

With high and glad surprise, 
And saw the sun of science beam 

As on an eaglet's eyes, 
And marked thy strong and brilliant mind 

Arouse to bold pursuit, 
And from the tree of knowledge pluck 

Its richest, rarest fruit. 
But still from such precocious power 

I shrank with secret fear, — 
A shuddering presage that thy race 

Must soon be ended here. 

I saw thee in the house of God, 

And loved the reverent air 
With which thy beauteous head was bowed 

Low in thy guileless prayer ; 
Yet little deemed how soon thy place 

Would be with that blest band, 
Who ever near the Eternal Throne 

In sinless worship stand ; 
And little deemed how soon the grave 

Must lock thy glorious charms, 
And wing thine ardent soul to find 

A sainted mother's arms. 



72 THE SACRED 



THE SPIRIT'S TRUST. 



Go ! ask the morning flower 

If the dew be cool and sweet ; 
Ask the rose in its opening hour 

If it loves the sun's bright heat. 

Ask the lark as it soars on high 
If it joys in the heaven above, 

As its note thrills through the sky, 
And breathes of spring and love. 

The smallest things below 

Are blest in life and light ; 
But O ! they can never know 

The spirit's proud delight. 

The joys of the heart and mind 
Are deeper and heavenlier things, 

More sacred, and more refined 

Than the voice with which nature sings. 

There's a sound of bliss in the air, 
It rings o'er the flowers and vales ; 



OFFERING. 73 

And the birds their rapture declare, 
And their songs fill a thousand gales. 

Yet sweeter than dew to the rose, 
Or than light and air to the bird, 

Is the hope that my heart o'erfiows 
As its inmost streams are stirred. 

For ever dear and deep, 

In its purest shrined recess, 
Do divinest feelings sleep. 

Of faith and holiness. 

And I would not change that heart, 
With its fervent and precious trust, 

For all this life could impart, 
If my thoughts must be chained to dust. 
6* 



74 THESACRED 



THE PAST AND THE FUTURE. 



There is a vision that inspires 

The heart with joy, not now its own ; 

Thought from the present scene retires, 
To revel on the past alone. 

I seem to stand upon the spot, 

Where I in thoughtless childhood played ; 
Feelings revive long deemed forgot, 

A light fast streaming through the shade. 

The sky, in its ethereal blue, 

Looks glowing as in days gone by, 

The bright flowers glitter with a dew 
Like tears of silent ecstasy. 

As steals upon the rushing wind 

The JEolian harp's unmeasured strain, 

The sounds first dear to the young mind 
Blend with its thought of home again. 

The slow chime of the distant bell, 
The blithe hum of the wandering bee, 



OFFERING. 75 

The solemn organ's sudden swell, 
The voice that gladdened infancy. 

Alas ! that ever grief or fear 

Should break on such a dream as this, 
Or change, or death be hovering near 

A being once so fraught with bliss. 

There is a wild and fearful trance 
That stirs the heart and fires the eye, 

When Fancy seeks to throw her glance 
Along the veiled futurity. 

Dark shadows fall, and false lights glare 

On this unreal view of life ; 
Love, and its thousand ills, is there ; 

Ambition, and its restless strife. 

For some, hope paints elysian bowers, 

Joys all too perfect to be true, 
Unchanging skies, unfading flowers, 

Oh ! this is not a world for you. 

Or abject fears in deep gloom shroud 

Creation's fair and lovely form ; 
Is there no heaven above the cloud ? 

No voice above the threatening storm ? 



76 THE SACRED 

Some fix their hopes on wealth or fame, 
Things not for mortal worship given, 

And make what earth at last will claim, 
The centre of their earthly heaven. 

And many a heart that early yearns 
For some bright gleam of holier ray, 

With more than Pagan ardour turns 
Its homage to this god of day. 

How sweeter far that early dream, 
How calm was the untroubled breast, 

Whilst pure the unsullied soul might seem, 
As one gone early to its rest. 

Why then has Fancy vainly tried 
Upon life's course to fix her eye, 

Where silent sweep, its path to hide, 
The waters of obscurity. 

So fled the dove from out the ark, 
In the wide waste to seek a nest ; 

Amidst the billows drear and dark, 
She found not where her foot to rest. 

But when Faith onward speeds her wings, 
When tempests and their ruin cease, 



OFFERING. 77 

She to the weary spirit brings 
The olive of eternal peace. 

On mists of doubt and clouds of care 
The sun-beam from on high is shed, 

A rainbow to Earth's living heir, 
A promise for her sleeping dead. 



' Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal 
life.' — John vi. 68. 



When our purest delights are nipt in the blossom, 
When those we love best are laid low ; 

When grief plants in secret her thorn in the bosom, 
Deserted, — ' to whom shall we go ? ' 

When, with error bewildered, our path becomes 
dreary, 

And tears of despondency flow ; [weary, 

When the whole head is sick, and the whole heart is 

Despairing, — ' to whom shall we go ? ' 

When the sad thirsty soul turns away from the springs 
Of pleasure this world can bestow, 



78 THE SACRED 

And sighs for another, and flutters its wings, 
Impatient, — ' to whom shall it go ? ' 

Oh blest be that light which has parted the clouds, 
And a path to the pilgrim can show, 

That pierces the veil which the future enshrouds, 
And tells us to whom we shall go ! 



* What is that to thee? follow thou me.' — John xxi. 22. 



And dost thou speak of friendship lost, 
Of hopes deceived, of true love crost, 
Oh ! Christian, what is that to thee ? 
'Tis Jesus whispers, 'Follow me.' 

But dost thou tell of sorrow's doom, 
Of thoughts that centre in the tomb ? 
Ah ! what is that sad scene to thee ? 
For Jesus whispers, 'Follow me.' 

Does conscience tear thy aching breast, 
And rob thy days and nights of rest ? 
Still, Christian, all thy pangs shall flee, 
When Jesus whispers, 'Follow me.' 



OFFERING. 79 

Amidst the world's seducing snares, 
And mammon's soul-degrading cares, 
Still pure thy Christian path shall be, 
For Jesus whispers, ' Follow me.' 

And in the closing scene of life, 
'Mid all the spirit's anxious strife, 
Christian! those words shall comfort thee, 
And Jesus whisper, i Follow me.' 



A DYING SCENE. 



Her spirit sought that better world, 
Where pain shall be no more ; 

Departing, as the hushed winds sink, 
When the tempest strife is o'er. 

Before her calm and chastened mind 

All worldly ills had past, 
As winds across the chord that yields 

Its music to their blast. 

Her life had been a tranquil day 
Of duty meekly done ; 



80 THE SACRED 

Well might she watch, without dismay, 
Its early setting sun. 

No light was in those rayless eyes, 
Which closed on that last scene ; 

Not as in weariness, or hate 
Of that which life had been. 

But there was that within her soul 

A bright, ethereal spark, 
Which by its clear effulgence made 

All outward light seem dark. 

But ere the silver chord was loosed, 
The golden bowl was broke, 

Some gentle words of peace and love 
The dying Christian spoke. 

'I see that holy land, wherein 

My heritage will be, 
My life's long dream of faith is lost 

In blest reality. 

And yet my heart still longs to hold 
Sweet intercourse with those, 

For whom the love, through life so strong, 
Grows stronger at its close. 



OFFERING. 81 

Fain would I hear, yet once again, 
The voice that cheered my youth, 

Speak to my spirit, ere it pass, 
The promises of truth. 

Tell me of that bright world, where God 

Shall wipe away all tears, 
That world, where we shall meet again, — 

How glorious it appears ! ' 

Beloved ones were near, that last, 

Sweet duty to fulfil — 
Her voice a moment joined in praise, 

Then ceased — and all was still. 



EVENING HYMN. 



Thou voice divine ! that, silent still 
To mortal sense, the soul dost fill 
With thoughts of more than mortal power, 
As steals along the twilight hour ; 
Grant me to hear thy accents sweet, 
In every odoured breeze I meet ; 
7 



82 THE SACRED 

And let no sound of earth intrude 
On this heaven-breathing solitude. 

'T is not alone to glad the eye, 
Those radiant clouds adorn the sky; 
Undying soul ! they paint to thee 
The glories of eternity ; 
They warn thee not to rest upon 
Aught fair as they, — as quickly gone : 
They bid thy boundless vision soar 
Where morn and eve exchange no more. 

'T is joy to think that hours like this 
Are gleams, though faint, of future bliss. 
For who can deem that powers so high 
Were granted to delude, then die? 
Oh ! who can doubt that mortal man 
Has part in that immortal plan, 
So long from human search concealed, 
So brightly, now, by Christ revealed? 



OFFERING. 83 



DEVOTION. 



What is devotion ? 'T is to live 
To Him who only life can give : 
'T is in a joyful hope to die 
Of brighter life beyond the sky. 

What is devotion? 'Tis to spring 
From earth to heaven with eagle-wing, 
With thoughts that mock the eagle's flight, 
And gaze at uncreated light. 

What is devotion ? 'T is to be 
Absorbed in God's immensity ; 
As rain-drops to the ocean tend, 
And with its boundless waters blend. 

What is devotion ? 'T is to love 
The giver of all bliss above, 
And all below ; — 't is gratitude, 
Intense, yet trembling, and subdued. 

'T is at a Father's feet to fall, 
And for his willing mercy call ; 



84 THESACRED 

To know that penitential tears, 

May smooth his frowns, and chase our fears. 

'T is to resign to him who gave, 
Each life our own would gladly save ; 
To feel heart-broken, yet to say, 
Blessed be he who takes away ! 

And is devotion more than this ? 

Its source more deep, more pure its bliss ? 

'T is when the Father for the Son 

We praise, and feel our heaven begun. 



c And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.' 

Book of Genesis. 



O'er earth was darkness spread, 

One boundless night. 
< Let there be light ! ' God said — 

And there was light. 

There hung a deeper gloom 
O'er quick and dead ; — 



OFFERING. 85 

But Jesus burst the tomb, 
And darkness fled. 

God, by his word, arrayed 

Darkness with light : 
God, by his Son, displayed 

Day without night. 

For thee, O man! arose 

Creation's ray : 
For thee, too, brighter glows 

Salvation's day. 

The beams first poured on earth 

For mortals shone: 
The light of later birth 

Immortals' own. 

Then give to life's few hours 

Their humble claim: 
But — to thy nobler powers, 

A boundless aim! 

7* 



86 THE SACRED 



If ho giveth quiet, who can make trouble? — Job xxxiv. 29. 



Quiet from God ! It cometh not to still 

The vast and high aspirings of the soul ; 
The deep emotions which the spirit fill, 
And speed its purpose onward to the goal ; 
It dims not youth's bright eye, 

Bends not joys lofty brow, 
No guiltless ecstasy 

Need in its presence bow. 

It comes not in a sullen form, to place 

Life's greatest good in an inglorious rest ; 
Through a dull, beaten track its way to trace, 
And to lethargic slumber lull the breast : 
Action may be its sphere, 

Mountain paths — boundless fields, 
O'er billows its career: 
This is the power it yields. 

To sojourn in the world, and yet apart; 

To dwell with God, yet still with man to feel ; 
To bear about forever in the heart 

The gladness which His Spirit doth reveal ; 



OFFERING. 87 

Not to deem evil gone 

From every earthly scene ; 
To see the storm come on, 

But feel his shield between. 

It giveth not a strength to human kind, 

To leave all suffering powerless at its feet, 
But keeps within the temple of the mind 
A golden altar, and a mercy seat, 
A spiritual ark, 

Bearing the peace of God 
Above the waters dark, 
And o'er the desert's sod. 

How beautiful within our soul's to keep 

This treasure, th' All-merciful hath given ; 
To feel, when we awake, and when we sleep, 
Its incense round us, like a breeze from heaven ! 
Quiet at hearth and home, 

Where the heart's joys begin ; 
Quiet where'er we roam, 
Quiet around, within. 

Who shall make trouble ? — Not the evil minds 
Which like a shadow o'er creation lower, 

The spirit peace hath so attuned finds 

There feelings that may own the Calmer's power, 



88 THE SACRED 

What may she not confer, 

E'en where she must condemn ? 

They take not peace from her, 
She may speak peace to them. 

What shall make trouble ? — Not an adverse fate, 

Not chilly poverty, nor worldly care : 
They who are tending to a better state 

Want but that peace to make them feel they are. 
Care o'er life's little day 

The tempest-cloud may roll ; 
Peace o'er its eve will play, 
The moonlight of the soul. 

Who shall make trouble ? — Not the holy thought 

Of the departed — that will be a part 
Of those undying things which peace hath wrought 
Into a world of beauty in the heart : 
Not the forms passed away, 

Which time's strong current bore, 
The dark stream might not stay, 
The ocean will restore. 

Who shall make trouble ? — Not slow- wasting pain, 
Not th' impending, certain stroke of death ; 

These do but wear away, then snap the chain 
Which bound the spirit down to things beneath. 



OFFERING. 89 

The quiet of the grave 

No trouble can destroy ; 
He, who is strong to save, 

Shall break it — but with joy. 



OMNIPRESENCE. 



What throne may bear the eternal God, 
Who fills unbounded space ? 

What palace boast his bright abode, — 
What world his dwelling-place ? 

Ye stars, that gem yon glorious vault, 

Above, beneath, around ! 
Who most your Maker's praise exalt, 

Through nature's unknown bound ; — 

Ye sons of light, your God's first-born ! 

Who saw, from distant spheres, 
The dawn of this earth's natal morn, 
. And all its future years ; — 

Ask ye where dwells the eternal God ? 
What planets bear his feet ? 



90 THE SACRED 

What clustered suns are his abode, 
His burning, dazzling seat ? 

There is a throne your God will grace — 
The pure and lowly heart : 

There will he choose his dwelling-place, 
And never thence depart. 



NATURAL BEAUTY. 



There is a pure and deep enjoyment given 
To man, in nature's perfect loveliness ; 

A feeling which is less of earth than heaven, 
Unlike earth's joys, greatest in its excess. 

How mildly grand ! how chastely beautiful 
Is the rich, fruitful earth, the calm, blue sky, 

And the vast space, with music tones as full, 
As if the air itself were melody ! 

The landscape, 'neath the smile of morning laid, 
Now lost in shade, now breaking into light, 

All animate by happy voices made, 
Or slowly, softly sinking into night. 



OFFERING. 91 

These have I watched thro' the long summer day, 
With bliss so exquisite, and so intense, 

That I have asked — Must these things pass away 
With all the false and fleeting joys of sense ? 

Have they not deeper meaning — do not we 
Types of creation see, to us unknown, 

A shadow of the things that are to be, 
Amidst this element of systems thrown ? 

Have these our pleasures their assigned part, 
To be as gracious teachings understood, 

Fitted to form and cherish in the heart 

A strong, deep relish for some greater good ? 

Is nature as a mirror, which the mind 
A faint reflector of itself may deem ? 

As the moon's placid image is enshrined 
In the calm bosom of some lowly stream. 

Yet let the soul seek no similitude 

With earth's abortive fruits and faded flowers ; 
Never be her creator's works imbued, 

But with the spirit of her noblest powers ; 

As this our world, with all the ills that mar, 

The shocks that rend it, and the storms that blight, 

Seems to the universe as a pure star, 

And on its darkness shines, itself all light. 



92 THE SACRED 



MORAL BEAUTY. 



I had a dream — a beautiful, calm dream — 
That which I saw therein was clear as light ; 

All things were changed, and looked not as they seem 
To the imperfect gaze of mortal sight. 

The world, the visible, material world, 
Lay in eclipse, a cloud was o'er the sky ; 

Before the realm of thought the veil was furled, 
Mind stood revealed unto my spirit's eye. 

It was a strong and deep development, 

A combination of unuttered things, 
Communion with man's better nature lent, 

A glance, caught of the fount where virtue springs. 

It was but as a vision — and it passed, 

Briefly and softly as a meteor-ray : 
Yet will its chastened memory be the last 

That with retreating life will fade away. 

And this was moral beauty. I awoke, 
The beaten track of life to journey on ; 



OFFERING. 93 

But yet I felt not that the spell was broke : 

Something of darkness from the world was gone. 

A light was in my soul. It made me not 
Spurn the familiar earth, the common air, 

Or shriuk in pride and coldness from the lot, 

Which, with small difference, all alike must share. 

No — for I saw them in a better view, 
With keen perception, and a warmer love, 

High in the elevation which they drew 

From their connexion with the world above. 

I sought no voice to make that vision known, 
No aid it needed from description's powers, 

I felt it had a language all its own, 

Sweeter than eloquence of eastern flowers. 

When I beheld how bright the sun arose, 
Alike upon the green tree and the dry, 

The moon beamed o'er rich vales and mountain snows, 
I knew that dream and its analogy. 

There is displayed upon this emerald earth 
Enough of sweetness to make glad our eyes ; 

Yet nature has her store of secret worth, 
To shew how deep the realm of beauty lies. 

8 



94 THESACRED 

Has she no rivers, in whose rugged bed 
Is golden dust, would purchase diadems ; 

Or rocky mountains, on which herds are fed, 
That sleep o'er silver, trample upon gems ? 

Has she not hidden caves with crystal hung, 

Splendid as eastern palaces of old ; 
O'er which the sun its radiance hath flung, 

And bathed their vaulted roofs in liquid gold ? 

Has she not ocean, with its fields of pearl, 

Its coral rocks, its tracery of weeds, 
And myriad shells, o'er which the blue waves curl, 

Which all art's boasted workmanship exceeds? 

Flowers have their meed of admiration won ; 

In them each color born of light is seen ; 
But these have hues reflected from the sun, 

Though dark and stormy billows spread between. 

I marvel not the sons of earth should call 
Gems from the deep to ornament a throne ; 

For there are riches in the sea-king's hall, 

Which monarchs may be proud to make their own. 

But when 1 saw, beneath a doubtful sky, 
Some bold adventurer plunge into the wave, 



OFFERING. 95 

(Perhaps uncertain to succeed or die,) 

To snatch these trifles from their glittering grave, 

Then woke my memory's vision. Do we know 
What treasures in the wastes of mind there are, 

Which, gathered from then living tomb, might glow 
In an immortal crown, each as a star ? 

When shall we mark, with such an eager eye, 
The one bright spot in the benighted soul, 

The pearl of peerless value, though it lie 

Embosomed, where the deep, dark waters roll ? 



' Though our outward man perish, yet our inward man is renewed 
day by day.' — 2 Cor. iv. 16. 



The inward man — growth of superior worth 
Than aught which owes its being to the earth, 
Seed of high origin — designed to be 
The living gem of immortality. 
Though this material frame of mortal clay 
Must fade and waste, and yield to sure decay, 
That will not die ; — reared for a better clime, 
How doth it flourish 'mid the snares of time : 



96 THESACRED 

The Heavenly Planter, wise to understand 

Its culture, trains it with a secret hand : 

Oft sown in tears beneath affliction's shade, 

Defection, pain, and grief severe, are made 

Its foster-parents in this alien soil, 

Where weeds and thorns demand a watchful toil : 

Celestial dews its drooping weakness aid, 

And beams from heaven refreshing influence shed. 

It grows amid disease's fearful strife ; 

Nor shall death's victory reach that germ of life : 

Amid the world's vast wreck, in darkness deep, 

Its powerful Guardian faithful watch will keep. 

Till He — the ' first fruits ' — life's great Lord appear ; 

And man's unnumbered generations hear 

His mighty voice, on that triumphant day, 

When vanquished death shall yield up all his sway. 

Then when the grave's dark vaults are all unsealed, 

How beautiful in strength will rise revealed 

That plant of seed celestial — fair and bright, 

To bloom forever in the realms of light ! 



OFFERING. 97 



MATTHEW XXX. 34, &c. 



Come, blessed of my heavenly Father, come ! 
In the high heavens your kingdom is prepared ; 
Yours is the sceptre and the rich reward ; 
Haste, for your Saviour calls you to your home. 
For I was hungry, and ye brought me bread ; 
I thirsted, and your cooling draughts were mine ; 
O'er my cold limbs the needed vest ye spread ; 
A stranger was I, and ye took me in ; 
I pined in sickness, and ye brought relief; 
In the deep dungeon, and ye soothed my grief: 
For these, my brethren, these, the lowly poor, 
Ye sent not cold and empty from your door, 
But ye relieved then wants, and heard their plea ; 
'T was done for my sake, and 'twas done to me. 
8* 



THE SACRED 



c O Father, let this cup pass from me ; nevertheless, not as I will, 
bat as thou wilt.' 



He, at whose bidding winds and waves were still, 
Whose voice disease and death itself obeyed, 
Who spake as never man was heard to speak, 
He lowly bowed to earth his sacred head, 
A suppliant at his mighty Father's throne ; 
What did he ask, — that fervent pleader there ? 
The well-beloved of God — the holy one, — 
What was the language of his earnest prayer ? 

'O Father, if this cup may not depart 
Except I drink it, let thy will be done.' 
He prayed — in prospect of that coming hour, 
In which the power of death was overthrown. 
O wondrous strength of pure benevolence ! 
The Just, for sinners thus to die resigned : 
O height and depth of love unsearchable ! 
To drink that cup of suffering for mankind. 

Ye great ones of the earth ! oh, not in vain 

To you may this divine example speak ; 

For thence he taught that those should serve mankind 

Who, in his kingdom, for distinction seek. 



OFFERING. 99 

Child of affliction, tried with many woes, 
Faint, fearful pilgrim — look to heaven, where He 
Who, much enduring, hath dominion won, 
A lasting mansion will prepare for thee. 

Thou son of genius, whose quick, ardent eye, 
The vast, the lofty can attract alone : 
O come and bend in admiration here : 
Say, of all glorious things to thee made known, 
What hast thou witnessed of sublimity, 
Like this great triumph of surpasing love ? 
What hast thou found of such resistless power, 
The heart to influence, or the soul to move ? 



THE CONSUMPTIVE GIRL. 



Tell me no more my altered cheek is pale, 

My fluttering pulse, oh ! Margaret, touch it not ; 

But let me breathe once more the vernal gale. 
And be thy dark, thy boding fears forgot. 

Oh ! lead me to my own beloved bower ; 
My steps are feeble, but my heart is light ; 



100 THE SACRED 

And let me gaze upon each opening flower, 
While the glad sun is shining clear and bright. 

And let me hear again the murmuring breeze ; 

And let me listen to the wild bird's song ; 
There is no music, Margaret, sweet as these, 

To those who know they may not hear them long. 

Another jocund spring shall smile on thee, 

And o'er thy head her odorous blossoms wave ; 

But, Margaret, where will then thy sister be ? 
In the dark chambers of the silent grave. 

Yet think not that I murmur at the part 
By a just Heaven so portioned out to me ; 

'T is but the yearning of this foolish heart 

That dwells too fondly with its home and thee. 

I feel, I know that my Redeemer lives 
In realms of happiness, though far away ; 

His hand the guerdon of salvation gives, 
His smile, the promise of eternal day. 

I hear of regions where the holy dwell, 

Where the pure spirits of the saints will be, 

Where bliss, beyond what human tongue can tell, 
Lives through the ages of eternity. 



OFFERING. 101 

There, where a stream with silver tide makes glad 
That city of the Lord whose gates are praise, 

No eye is weary, and no heart is sad, 

But harps are tuned to seraphs' rapturous lays. 

Is not -that city paved with purest gold, 

All brightly shining in eternal day ? 
But will those everlasting gates unfold 

To the poor pilgrim from her home of clay ? 

For I have loved my home of clay too well, 
And looked too fondly on my mother earth ; 

My tongue will faulter when I say farewell, 
My heart will linger at my father's hearth. 

The summer comes, and all will then be gay, 
And gladness smile upon the flowery plain ; 

The summer comes, but I shall pass away, 
Like a spring blossom, ne'er to bloom again. 

And when cold winter wreaths his hoary brow 
With the last chaplet of the fading year, 

My own kind xMargaret ! then I know that thou 
Wilt think of thy poor sister, once so dear. 

Yes ! think, and fear not ; though my voice may know 
No tone of triumph in its last farewell ; 

Think of the Saviour in this world below, 
And the blest tidings which he came to tell. 



102 THE SACRED 



EVENING. 



Speak in soft whispers! Evening falls ! — 
Her spirit in its silence calls 
To peace, and hope, and holy thought, 
And gives the rest the mourner sought ! 

Tread lightly on the dewy ground ! 
A balm is falling all around, 
Shedding on earth its cooling shower, 
And on the heart its healing power. 

Gather the loved around ! and now 
Breathe the fond word, the tender vow, 
For Love throws, like the sweetest flowers, 
Its fragrance o'er the Evening hours ! 

Pure be each thought ! for Angels' eyes 
Are beaming from the moonlit skies ; 
Soft be each sigh of earthly love — 
'T is echoed in the realms above ! 



OFFERING. 103 



THE CHILD AT PRAYER. 



To his soft-rounded arms a chair 
Support and firmness lent — 

His little hands were joined in prayer, 
His head devoutly bent. 

And o'er that fair and kneeling child 

A form enamoured hung, 
Prompting the words in accents mild 

That graced his artless tongue. 

From her soft eye the pearly tear 

Of love and rapture stole, 
And proved the piety sincere 

That rapt her inmost soul ! 

Told more than language could, as she 

His holy paths had trod ; 
Her latent warm desire that he, 

Her child, might walk with God ! 

I've seen the drops of grief distain 
That fair one's snowy vest, 



104 THE SACRED 

As she has clasped, a prey to pain, 
That infant to her breast ; 

And marked the flush of joy and pride 

Her lineaments illume, 
As he has sported by her side 

In health and beauty's bloom ! 

But never did the Mother's care 

In lovelier guise appear, 
Than when her Babe's first hallowed prayer 

Drew forth that crystal tear. 



ACTS XII. 6 — 12. 



In chains and darkness Peter slept, 
Round him the weary soldiers lay, 
Alight across the prison swept, 
A brightness brighter than the day. 

An Angel stood — and Peter's side 
Instant he smote, and called, Arise ! 
Sudden the close bound chains divide 
And fall — he lifts his wondering eyes ! 



OFFERING. 105 

His hands are free ! the spirit said, 
Take up thy garment, follow me ! 
And, awe-struck, trembling, Peter fled 
Ev'n as he saw the Angel flee. 

The wards are past — the iron gate 
Turns freely for the Angelic guest, 
And in the open street they wait, 
When passed that vision from the blest. 

The Angel fled — then Peter knew, 
When from his sudden trance he rose, 
Deliverance from the Lord he drew, 
From Herod and his faithless foes. 

And is not ours a purer light ? 
A nobler visitant of Heaven ? 
Celestial visions bless our sight, 
Celestial hopes to us are given. 

In our dark prison bound below, 

The voice of Jesus still is heard, 

And some their chains will from them throw, 

And rise to meet their coming Lord. 

Those prison doors he soon shall break, 
The iron gates of death shall free, 
His faithful followers shall partake 
His own all-glorious liberty. 
9 



106 THE SACRED 



TRUTH AND IMMORTALITY. 



A FRAGMENT. 



Thus Error is linked in with Truth : in vain 
The mind may struggle to be free, and shake 

Its fetters off, and loose the galling chain. 

Not yet ! not yet ! not till the soul shall break 

The bondage of its prison house, and be 

A denizen of Immortality. 

O Holy and Eternal Truth ! thou art 
An emanation of the Eternal mind ! 

A glorious attribute — a noble part 
Of uncreated being ! who can find, 

By thought and searching, who can find out thee, 

The Incomprehensible — the Deity? 

The human mind is a reflection caught 

From thee, a trembling shadow of thy ray ! 

Thy glory beams around us, but the thought 
That heaven-ward wings its daring flight away, 

Returns to where its flight was first begun, 

Blinded and dark beneath the noon-day sun. 



OFFERING. 10? 

The soul of man, though sighing after thee, 
Hath never known thee, saving as it knows 

The stars of heaven, whose glorious light we see ; 
The sun, whose radiance dazzles as it glows ; 

Something that is beyond us, and above 

The reach of human power, but not of human love. 

And yet thou hast not left thyself without 

A revelation ; all we feel and see, 
Within us and around, forbids to doubt, 

Yet speaks so darkly and mysteriously 
Of what we are, and shall be evermore, 
We doubt, and yet believe, and tremble, and adore ! 

Thanks be to God ! the glorious day will come, 
Wherein the soul shall see, and feel, and know ! 

Earth — earth is not our everlasting home; 
But through the shadows of this world below 

The spirit journeys homeward to the sky, 

A way-worn pilgrim of eternity. 

Eternity ! no mortal e'er could break 
Thy seal of mystery, save him alone, 

' Who dwelt in Patmos for his Saviour's sake,' 
And in his vision saw a great white throne, 

And him that sat thereon, before whose face 

The earth and heaven fled, and found no place. 



108 THE SACRED 

Eternity ! O let the dead again 

Put on their mortal garments and return ! 

Give back — give back thy dark and shadowy train 
Once more, that they may tell, in ' words that 
burn,' 

Thy fearful mysteries of good and ill ! 

A voice within us answers, Peace, be still ! 

The spirits of the loved and the departed 
Are with us ; and they tell us of the sky, 

A rest for the bereaved and broken-hearted, 
A house not made with hands, a home on high ! 

Holy monitions — a mysterious breath — 

A whisper from the marble halls of death ! 

They have gone from us, and the grave is strong ! 

Yet in night's silent watches they are near ! 
Their voices linger round us, as the song 

Of the sweet skylark lingers on the ear, 
When, floating upward in the flush of even, 
Its form is lost from earth, and swallowed up in 
heaven. 



OFFERING. ]09 



SELF-CONFIDENCE. 



Oh, chase me not away ! for I would drink, 
Even I, the weakest, at the fount of life ; 

Chide not my steps, that venture near the brink, 
Weary, and fainting, from the deadly strife. 

Went I not forth undaunted and alone, 
Strong in the majesty of human might ? 

Lo ! I return, all wounded and forlorn, 
My dream of glory lost in shades of night. 

Was I not girded for the battle field ? 

Bore I not helm of pride, and glittering sword ? 

Behold the fragments of my broken shield, 

And lend, oh ! lend, the armour of the Lord ! 
9* 



110 THE SACRED 



'THE WATERS WERE ABATED.' 



The world was ocean ! the huge ark, upraised, 
Swung heavily along the boundless tide : 
Its weary inmates gazed upon the deep, 
They heard the rain-drop's ceaseless fall above, 
The sullen dashing of the waves below ; 
And long and vainly bent their eyes to see, 
Through the dark shadows of the misty heaven, 
Some friendly shore that barred the waters in, 
But all was ocean ! all the arrogant hills, 
Whose silvery summits once defied the sun, 
The trees and towers, were many a fathom down. 
Then could they hear each other's sinking heart 
Beat low and faintly, as despair came on ; 
Day after day the morning brought no sun, 
The evening kindled not her watchlight star, 
And midnight had no deeper shade to bring ; 
But still they rested on the boundless deep, 
That dreary grave of nature and of man. 
Joy comes at last ! the falling floods retire ; 
Down sinks the ark upon the mountain ridge, 
Whose rock-crowned summits island all the deep. 
Now, burning high, the morning's welcome star, 



OFFERING. Ill 

Once more the herald of a cloudless sun, 
Looks from the purple embrasure of heaven, 
And prints his brightness on the wave below. 
Now round the ark the balanced raven wheels, 
Darts his fierce glance upon the unburied dead, 
Waves his black pinions, and returns no more. 
With plaintive murmurs, the familiar dove 
Bends o'er the wave, to trace his favorite vale 
In the deep soundings of the gentle sea ; 
And in the mirror spread beneath him sees 
Only the glancings of his weary wing. 
But soon he comes with gladness in his flight, 
And bears the olive's never-fading green — 
The favoured leaf which waters cannot drown — 
Now the bright signal of release to man. 

Forth from their floating sepulchres they go : 
The earth around is desolate and still, 
And sends a chilness to the gazer's heart. 
The wild beast's cry, the wild bird's song is still ; 
No insect's hum, nor voice of busy man, 
Comes on the stillness of the desert air. 
The bold winds hush their far-resounding might, 
And breathe like infants in their placid sleep. 
No falling torrent thunders from the rock, 
No streamlet murmurs in its peaceful bed. 
The silent waves lie sleeping on the beach, 
The calm lakes slumber in their banks again. 



112 THE SACRED 

The fields spread round their waste and withered 

floors ; 
The old trees cast their aged arms abroad, 
Not in their autumn beauty of decay, 
But dark and seared, as if with lightning fires. 
— They raise their grateful offering to their God ; 
The fire of sacrifice is faint and dim : 
The smoke-wreaths fold around the altar stone, 
And climb not upward when the moveless clouds 
Stand fixed upon their stations in the sky. 
Must it be so ? Shall Nature breathe no more, 
Nor life re-animate its face again ? 
Hark ! the warm breeze is rising in the sky. 
Now bright and fast the sacrifice consumes, 
And clouds of incense hasten up to heaven. 
The glad waves dance — the ocean lifts its voice, 
Rejoicing that its work of death is done. 
The forests send from out then- caverns green 
The solemn fulness of the organ's tone, 
Deeper than rolls in temples made with hands. 
The boundless fields spread wide their emerald 

plains, 
Where the tired eye may rest in calm delight. 
The infant blossoms burst their prisoning shells, 
And varied brilliants gem the hills and vales, 
Like fallen rainbows shivered into flowers. 
But high o'er all the unbroken rainbow springs, 
For now the sun hath climbed the eastern hill, 



OFFERING. 1 13 

And, slowly rising on his mountain throne, 
Smiles on that lovely stranger of the heaven 
That fronts him on the purple mass of clouds, 
"Whose dark folds roll in majesty away. 

'T is beautiful ! admiring hearts and eyes 
Are lifted up to that new sign of love, 
And the world's sorrows find repose at last: 
For God hath said it, and their hearts reply 
That His own hand hath bent its arching tower, 
And bound its coloured circles in the heaven, 
That all might read the promise of his love 
Oft as it drives the angry storm away. 
Man would have stamped it in recording brass, 
Or graved it in the everlasting rock ; 
But God hath framed it finer than the air, 
With tints as frail as those of slender flowers, 
Or evening clouds that fade beneath the view. 

Thousands of years have risen and passed away ; 
Stars have expired ; and yet the rainbow lives, 
In all the brightness of its earliest light, 
On Nature's festivals to span the heavens; 
Till the last heart of man shall cease to beat, 
And ocean roll its latest w r ave a way. 



114 THE SACRED 



THE SABBATH SCHOOL. 



Lowly were those who assembled there, 

To receive the teachings the lowliest share ; 

They came from the herdsman's woodland home, 

Through the quiet fields which they loved to roam; 

They came whence the pale mechanic's board, 

The six days' toil had but scantly stored ; 

They came from the widow's lonely hearth, 

Whence the prayer of the father no more went forth ; 

Some from the cot, where no mother's voice 

Made the hearts of childhood and youth rejoice ; 

And some from the dwellings, where shame, and sin, 

Desolation, and anguish had entered in ; 

Yet they were to me as the wilding flowers 

The joyous spring o'er the green earth pours ; 

As the track of the morn in the starless sky ; 

As the stream that flows onward in melody. 

Long had I looked on that infant race, 

And marked the expression of every face ; 

I knew the first foot-prints of grief were there, 

The incipient furrow, that told of care ; 

I saw that in many a downcast eye 

Was the languor of comfortless poverty, 



OFFERING. 115 

And the sullen tone, or the frown, expressed 

That deceit or passion had brought unrest ; 

But I knew when evil had made its claim, 

What a world of good there would yet remain, 

How much of the kindliest sympathy, 

Which sorrow had nurtured and care would try ; 

How much of the self-denying love, 

The fiery trials of life would prove ; 

Of energy, talent, how strong a tide, 

That needed instruction its power to guide, 

And what generous fires that will long bum on, 

When the love that awakened the spark is gone. 

I know, in the lot that awaits the poor, 

Temptation, and trial, and scorn are sure ; 

But I still look on to what mind may be, 

I am hopeful yet of humanity. 

Then blest is the teacher's place, though it be 

At the outward gate of the sanctuary. — 

And what if the good which is done be small, 

In a state where the pleasures of sense must pall ? 

Is it nothing to bear in our hearts a joy 

Which will never languish, will never cloy ? 

It 'is sweet in the pathways of life to meet 

So many young creatures our smile to greet ; 

It is pleasant to welcome the sabbath day, 

With such sabbath feelings to bless its sway ; 

But the teacher's office implies yet more — 

'T is to bear a name which the Saviour bore ; 



116 THE SACRED 

Not only to watch for the coming spring, 
But some drops of dew to its flowers to bring ; 
'T is to keep a fount from pollution free, 
Whose waters tend on to a boundless sea; 
'T is to search the depths of a soundless mine, 
O for the world where its gems will shine ! 



THE LOST. 



Now that our ' days are in the yellow leaf,' 
And summer's fruits lie dead, there is a word 

Which, with peculiar and heavy grief, 

Smites on our hearts ; its leaden tone is heard 

'Midst jocund songs ; no hush is so profound, 

That this one word — the lost — breathes not its sound. 

Lost hopes of youth, lost joys of other days, 

Kind words and greetings that are heard no more ; 

And beauties hid forever from our gaze, 

Because we feel them not as heretofore ; [press 

Lost home — lost friends — these are the thoughts that 

Round elder years, and make their dreariness. 



OFFERING. 117 

But are these treasures lost ? O that our trust 
Were stronger, that we had an eye to see 

The vital spark, that lingers in the dust, 
'Midst all its dull and cold inanity. 

O that our hearts were warmer in the faith, 

That glows amidst bereavement, change, and death. 

Annihilation cannot be with God ; 

There is no waste of happiness with him ; 
His spirit quickeneth beneath the sod, 

And rests upon the path that seemeth dim. 
There's renovation with the Mighty One, 
And he will speed its work of gladness on. 

* Time, the devourer,' he must pass away ; 

He must give back, as will the unfathomed sea ; 
We are not his ; the creatures of a day ; 

The great Restorer comes, Eternity ! 
To teach the immortal what the mortal knew, 
Each feeling, thought, affection to renew. 

"What do we mourn? — our spring-time's light and dew, 
The balmy softness of its murmuring air, 

The freshness of beginning life, that threw 
The magic of its influence every where, 

The source of joy within us, that could make 

All outward things its vividness partake ? 
10 



118 THE SACRED 

Is it the first pure love of rill, or flower, 
That lured the timid step adown the glen, 

While the young spirit, bound by Nature's power, 
Half wondered at its own sensations then ; 

The admiration deep, or glad surprise, 

As each new truth unfolded to our eyes ? 

Life and creation will again be new : 

How then are lost the feelings of our youth, 

At whose bright fountains apprehension grew 
Strong to receive far, far more glorious truth ? 

When first the primrose bank the infant sought, 

The love for the Creator's works was caught. 

The mountain's grandeur, and the forest's shade, 
The valley's quiet depths and pathways green, 

The canopy by waving chestnuts made, 

The streams of quivering light that stole between, 

The silvery voice of the half hidden brook, 

The whispering breezes, which the green corn shook ; 

These things have been unto us as a friend ; 

The love of them has purified the heart ; 
It cannot be that influence must end, 

Which has performed so beautiful a part ; 
Our sympathy with nature will remain, 
And form a portion of ourselves again. 



OFFERING. 119 

E'en as if every flower again should ope, 
And each particular leaf become a star, 

Recognizable in the horoscope, 

Athwart the universe extending far ; 

When he who loved the moss, the violet's dye, 

Looks on the unveiled glories of the sky. 

And of the lost, yet more. — If we have found 
Companionship w T ith things inanimate, 

Listened with rapture to their liquid sound, 
And felt then beauty soothe and elevate, 

How have we loved the living forms that made 

Home bright, at morning's dawn and evening's shade ? 

How did we love the gentle hands once laid 
In sweet caressing on our shining hair ; 

The kindness ever looked, the welcome said, 
The whispered blessing, and the silent prayer; 

The kindred few, who shared youth's happy hours, 

Whose wishes, thoughts, and pleasures, all were ours. 

Our joyous ones — the loved of elder years, 

They, in whose life our own again grew young, 

Whose thrilling voices brake upon our ears, 
'Midst memories of old, that round us clung, 

Till long hushed echoes in our hearts rung out 

In answering glee to their exulting shout. 



120 THE SACRED 

Are these the lost ? The pure, the spiritual, 
The beautiful, the good of human kind, — 

Spirits like these are the material 

Whereof God fashioneth the angel's mind. 

The shade of evil, which these spirits crost, 

Is all of them that is for ever lost. 

There is an awful and mysterious link 

Between this life and immortality ; 
'T is well sometimes to pause awhile, and think 

What is it constitutes identity. — 
If it be not affection, feeling, thought, 
That with our being hath been long inwrought. 

We cannot deem th' All-merciful would give 
A love undimmed, unquenchable, unspent, 

Through a long life within the heart to live, 
If for some future good it were not meant. 

He gave its objects, he will then restore, 

Retouched, and fitted to decline no more. 

Has it not been the glory of our faith, 
The very root from which devotion grew, 

To know that God will break the bonds of death, 
To renovate, not to create anew. 

The resurrection of the man must mean 

Recovered consciousness of what has been. 



OFFERING. 121 

Then, Memory, hail ! the withered heart grows warm 
With thee the path of life to traverse back ; 

As each familiar face and well-known form 
Glideth in light upon the shadowy track, 

Count up the lost, and as their sum will be 

The riches of the spirit's treasury. 



EVENING HYMN. 

PSALM IV. 8. 



Eternal God of love and power, 

I will thy praise resound ; 
And tell how every passing hour 

Is with thy goodness crowned ! 

Throughout the day, thy tender care 

Has all my wants supplied, 
And deigned from many a baneful snare 

My erring steps to guide. 

But oh ! my tongue in vain essays 
Thy bounty to declare, 
10 * 



122 THE SACRED 

It ne'er can tell in mortal lays 
How great thy mercies are ! 

But yet thine all-discerning eye 

My grateful heart can see, 
And all its warm emotions lie, 

Dear Lord ! exposed to thee ! 

Oh ! while mine eyes are closed in sleep, 

Do Thou my guardian be ; 
And deign my wearied frame to keep 

From every danger free ! 



LINES COMPOSED IN AUTUMN. 



List! 'tis no earthly music! to mine ear 
That thrush's note, in Autumn's shortening day, 
Fraught with the hope and promise of the spring, 
Sounds like a heavenly strain — opening at once 
A thousand secret cells where memory slumbered. 
Joys vanished long revive ; and fresh and fragrant 
Bloom the sweet flowerets of life's happy spring ; 
Fair are the flowers — but transient — and their odours 



OFFERING. 123 

Breathe on the sense with sweet but dying fragrance, 

Mingling regret with pleasure: 'tis the lot 

Of all things mortal, they are born to perish ; 

And their brief history strikes upon the ear 

With mournful cadence, changing every joy 

To sadness. Yet an antidote remains 

Within the human heart ; a sense infused 

Deep in the soul, of its own deathless nature, 

And every impulse potent to enkindle 

Imagination's hallowing power, or touch 

The tender springs of memory, fertile still 

In scenes of joy and sorrow (interchange 

Of kindly thoughts and actions, and the treasury 

Left by the aspects of all-beauteous nature), 

Arises too within the heart of man 

A consciousness of immortality, 

Bidding defiance to the withering touch 

Of time, and death the spoiler. He whose eye 

Hath thus been cleared to ' see into the life 

Of things,' discerns in every changing aspect 

Of varied nature some reviving emblem 

Of this glad truth. The sunbeam, lighting quick, 

With instantaneous touch, the landscape, shrouded 

Before in brooding vapours, points our hope 

Instinctively to that fair land of promise, 

Where doubt and error's gloomy mists shall vanish, 

Touched by the force of truth's resplendent beam, 

And all be light and gladness. In the west, 



124 THE SACRED 

The evening sun, 'midst clouds of splendor sinking, 

Points to the Christian's course, with joy fulfilled: 

Its parting orb, by heaven's own light illumed, 

Tells us a blissful tale of hope and promise. 

Not shrouded in eternal night, its beams 

Sink from the view, but with < new spangled ore ' 

Decked, on a brighter, fairer day shall dawn, — 

A cloudless day, on which no night shall set. 

Thus in each aspect of created nature, 

Almighty Father ! be it mine to read, 

With deep and grateful love, the sacred truths 

Traced in no doubtful characters ; and still 

From the dear lesson may I gather strength 

To tread, with willing feet, the appointed way, 

The narrow way that leads to heaven and Thee. 



HYMN. 



O hear my prayer, Almighty God ! 

Thy grace, thy truth, impart ; 
O lead me in the heavenly road, 

And sanctify my heart. 



OFFERING. 125 

May virtue, purity, and peace 
There hold their spotless throne ; 

And there the blessed seed increase, 
Religion's hand has sown. 

O may immortal hope prevail 

To chase my spirit's gloom ; 
That sacred trust, which cannot fail, 

Conduct me to the tomb. 

While piety, and joy, and love 

Still beam upon my way, 
As silently through life I move, 

Beneath their holy ray, — 

Let earth, and earth's vain cares depart, 

O raise my soul to heaven : 
My only offering is that heart, 

Which thou, O God, hast given 



126 THE SACRED 



MORNING HYMN. 



1 1 laid me down and slept j I awaked ; for the Lord sustained me.'- 

Psalm iii. 5. 



Again, from calm and sweet repose, 

I rise to hail the dawn ; 
Again my waking eyes unclose, 

To view the smiling morn. 

Great God of love ! thy praise I '11 sing, 

For thou hast safely kept 
My soul beneath thy guardian wing, 

And watched me while I slept. 

Glory to thee ! eternal Lord ! 

Oh teach my heart to pray, 
And thy blest Spirit's help afford, 

To guide me through the day. 

Let every thought and word accord 

With thy most holy will ; 
Each deed the precepts of thy word 

Religiously fulfil ! 



OFFERING. 127 

From danger, sin, and every iD, 

My constant guardian prove ; 
Oh sanctify my heart, and fill 

With thoughts of holy love. 



HYMN. 



Let me not wander comfortless, 

My Father, far from Thee, 
But still, beneath thy guardian wing, 

In holy quiet be. 

The storms of grief, the tears of woe, 
Soothed by thy love, shall cease, 

And all the trembling spirit breathe 
A deep, unbroken peace. 

The power of prayer shall o'er me shed 

A soft celestial calm ; 
Sweeter than evening's twilight dews, 

My soul shall drink its balm. 

For there the still small voice shall speak 
Thy great, Thy boundless love ; 



128 THE SACRED 

And angel forms the mourner call 
To the bright realms above. 

I hear that call, ah yes ! I hear 
Those tones so fondly loved ; 

And to that bright and sinless world 
I know he is removed. 

The beaming of his smile is gone, 
The yearning heart is vain, 

A brother and a friend I lose, 
Whom 1 may ne'er regain. 

To that blest world, to that blest world, 
My weeping thoughts shall flee, 

Shall follow him, so long beloved, 
To immortality. 

A little time, not comfortless 
Beneath thy guardian wing — 

And thou wilt reunite the hearts 
That now are sorrowing. 



OFFERING. 129 



THE SEA-SHORE. 



There is freedom in the ocean, 

There is spirit in the breeze, 
There is life in every motion 

Of the ever restless seas. 

With the bending crest of foam 
In the sunny radiance glancing ; 

And the rippling sounds that come 
Still dying, still advancing. 

And will it not be joyous, 
When this mortal coil is o'er, 

And its cares no more annoy us, 
To meet upon that shore, 

Where the waves of life are sparkling 

In the regions of the blest ; 
'Where the wicked cease from troubling, 

And the weary are at rest.' 
11 



130 THE SACRED 



PARAPHRASE OF THE LORD'S PRAYER. 



Our Father, who in heaven art, 

All hallowed be thy name ! 
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done 

In earth and heaven the same. 

Give us this day our daily bread ; 

Our trespasses forgive, 
As those who trespass against us 

Our pardon shall receive. 

Into temptation lead us not, 

Deliver us from ill ; 
For thine the kingdom, thine the power, 

And thine the glory still ! 



OFFERING. 131 



THE MOTHER'S PRAYER. 



The mother's face, it is pale with care, 
Though lighted with smiles such as mothers wear ; 
Though sickly the hue which is on the brow, 
The eye beams with love and with joy below; 
There's a hope and a trust in that mother's heart — 
She does not dream of the hour to part. 

And now she has bended her knee to pray, 
While sickness is wasting her life away ; 
Her hands are folded in fervent love, 
Her spirit's desire is borne above ; 
O ! not for herself those pleadings deep — 
For the health of her child in his rosy sleep. 

For him w r ith the bright and the sunny face, 
Which daily ripens in bloom and grace ; 
Oh ! her dreams are all of his future years, 
She fancies his griefs with a mother's tears ; 
And yet at his smile sweet visions play, 
To chase all those sadder thoughts away. 

She prays that a Father's love may shrine 
His opening youth with a trust divine ; 



132 THE SACRED 

That the world in its varied forms of ill 
May never his guileless bosom fill, 
But, all unsullied, the heavenly flame 
May return to Him from whom it came. 

O ! more and more earnest that mother's prayer, 
As her sighs are breathed on the midnight air ; 
Her own sad fate she has all forgot, — 
The unkindness that wounds her daily lot, 
The neglect that leaves her to weep unknown, — 
Her heart is full of her child alone. 

And the prayer is heard — it is traced above, 
In the glowing light of a mother's love ; 
A few short days — she must fade and die, 
And the baby will heed not her farewell sigh ; 
But when she is laid in her youthful grave, 
That prayer shall have power to shield and save. 

O human love ! what a load it would be, 

Fearful and sad, to cherish thee, 

In a world where all things lovely fly 

The delighted gaze of the dreamer's eye, 

But for the hope that cannot fade, 

For the clear bright faith that knows no shade. 

For there is a land where the smile is true, 
Where the cheek is ever a healthy hue, — 



OFFERING. 133 

Where the heart for unkindness weeps no more, 
And the thousand fears of earth are o'er ; 
And in that land, oh ! is it not sweet 
To think that the mother and child will meet ? 



SONNET. 



MATTHEW, CHAP. II. 



The star of Bethlehem shone — and they who sought 
The infant Jesus, blest the living ray, 
As through the clear bright sky it traced the way 

To Mary's lowly roof: the wise men brought 

Their costly offerings, where the child of God 
Reposed in peace upon His mother's breast, 
Around the sleeping Saviour then they prest, 

Fell down and worshipped Him, in spirit awed — 

Gold, frankincense, and myrrh, before Him spread, 
Whose offering is the pure and contrite heart. 
O Master ! may I chuse that better part — 

No vain oblation bring — but ever led 

In deep humility to seek thy shrine, 

And offer there a trust and hope divine. 
11* 



134 THE SACRED 



RECOLLECTIONS. 



The last, the last — oh it is sad 
The last surviving one to be 
Of what was once a family ; 
And where the social smile was glad, 
To gaze upon the vacant chair, — 
The meal the loved ones may not share. 

'T is sad, in summer-eve, to walk 
Along a fair and lovely scene, 

Where in past years familiar talk 
And greetings fond have been ; — 

But sadder still the hour of prayer, 

Without their dear communion there. 

And O what pain — the morning hour, 
The first of bitter consciousness, 

When life resumes its torturing power, 
Without their looks of love to bless — 

In melancholy long array, 

Presenting the forsaken day. 



OFFERING. 135 

But night — ah night — when all is still, 
How do the fearful thoughts of gloom 

The lonely thrilling spirit fill, 

And with the midnight silence come — 

How do the graves of those most dear 

Still green before our eyes appear ! 

Oh yes ! when all are sunk in sleep, 

Then is our own devoted hour, 
Their memories in our heart to keep, 

And tears of tenderness to shower ! 
The harvest of past years to reap, 
And feel more near them while we weep. 

The last, the last — oh it is sad 

To hear no brother's well-known voice. 
To see no sister forms rejoice, 

Where once the blazing hearth was glad ; 

And thoughts of love, and tones of mirth, 

In home's delightful shade had birth ! 

I sit — a last and lonely one, 

And think — I often can but think — 

How all my fair and loved are gone ; 
And yet I do not seem to sink, 

Although sometimes I wonder how 

Life lingers on this pallid brow. 



136 THE SACRED 

'T will soon be past — this grief untold ; 
The visions of the future rise, 
With their fair heavenly destinies ; 

I see them all unfold — 

My place of rest their grave will be, 

And mine their blest futurity. 



HOPE. 



O never, never close thy heart 

To human hope — her rapturous power 
Shall chase the tear-drops as they start, 

And light w 7 ith smiles the future hour. 

Hope on — hope on — it may not be — 
Yet let thy heart-dreams still be bright ; 

Still picture that sweet destiny 
In which thy spirit may delight. 

Thy friend is at thy side — ah no ! 

That friend must find an early tomb, 
And death's dark veil conceal below 

That eye of love, that cheek of bloom. 



OFFERING. ]37 

But dearer hopes shall still be thine ; 

That tender gaze, that angel face 
Shall all thy soul's fond hopes enshrine, 

And every lighter grief efface. 

Alas ! that gaze shall coldly change, 
That angel glance be thine no more ; 

And coming years that love estrange, 
Which was to bless till life was o'er. 

Yet still hope on — though friendship weep, 
Thy friend awaits thee 'mongst the blest ; 

Thy hope, thy faith, thy fondness keep, 
Go — seek her in the realms of rest ! 

Live as she lived — on others pour 

The stream of kindness and of peace ; 

And with deep trust behold the hour 
When earth's bereaved tears shall cease. 

And for thy lost and broken love, 

O ! whisper to thy aching heart, 
That He that anguish can remove, 

Whose will supreme first bade ye part. 

Yes ! thou shalt meet that angel gaze, 
Again thine own, in realms of bliss, 

Where love shall wear immortal rays, 
And, unreproved, thy heart be his. 



138 THE SACRED 

Hope on — hope on — for joy is here, 
Even in this dark and chequered scene ; 

Go ! chase thy every doubt and fear, 
Thy life a Father's care hath been. 



v SONNET ON MILTON. 

A PASSAGE FROM DR. CHANNING's ESSAY 
ON MILTON, PARAPHRASED. 



Behold him in his last years desolate, 

Forsaken, fallen — in man's erring sight, 
Condemned by power supreme to his dark state — 

But sightless, still he lives in happier light — 
His inward eye ranges o'er nature's face, 

And sheds on her, beams brighter than the sun, 
In pure imagination's fadeless grace. 

Heaven, hell, and paradise are his — still run 
His retrospective glances to past days, 

To sages, and apostles, prophets, knights, 
Heroes and gifted bards. — Then time displays 

The triumphs yet to come ; his soul delights 
In freedom's glorious reign ; whilst smiling fame 
Points to the hearts now throbbing at his name. 



OFFERING. 139 



HYMN. 



When mortal joys take wiDg and flee, 

I own thy chastening rod ; 
My wandering heart returns to thee, 

My Father, and my God ! 

I know thou wilt not chide in vain ; 

But, with a parent's love, 
The gracious hand that gives me pain 

Will all my comfort prove. 

Oh ! for an angel's voice, to speak 
The treasures of thy grace, 

Still open when we haste to seek, 
And bow before thy face. 

Then in the gloomy night of grief 
I'll trust thy guardian power; 

Omnipotence can bring relief, 
And cheer the darkest hour. 



140 THE SACRED 



RESIGNATION. 



Say, Reader! canst thou bear, and not complain, 
Grief's silent languor, or the hour of pain ; 
One small sick room, with noiseless footstep tread, 
And raise in peaceful hope the aching head: 
Smile at the joy it is not thine to share, 
And make another's pleasure soothe thy care ? 
Canst thou, while they beguile the weary hours 
With nature's charm of sunshine, air, and flowers, 
Resigned, still quaff thy daily draught, nor mourn 
O'er days long past, that never can return ? 
Say, canst thou look, with calm and tearless eyes, 
On thy imprisoned days, and nights of sighs ? 
Nor of each friend who calls implore the skill, 
And watch the glance that dooms thee well or ill ? 
Hold out the feverish hand, nor start to see 
A face that changes on beholding thee ? 
Firm in thy God, and in thy heavenly trust, 
Canst thou remember fearless thou art dust? 
Look to the future, glad and undismayed, 
And smiling see thy life recede in shade ? 
Then, Reader, go — the world to thee can bring 
In trials, woes, temptations, not one sting. 



OFFERING. 141 



Let not thy heart deceive thee — Day, no frown ; 

I tell thee that thou wilt be taught by sorrow, 
Thou spring-enthusiast, who believ'st the crown 

Thou wear'st to-day will bind thy head to-morrow. 
O young and guileless ! all thy deep-souled feeling, 

Wherein thy heart rejoices, will not last ; 
It is the sunshine of the soul, revealing 

A morn of light too quickly overcast. 
Thy bright thoughts will desert thee ; vainly grieving, 

Thou may'st recall them, but their soul is fled ; 
And thou wilt chide, and call thy hopes deceiving, 

And thou in bitterness thy tears wilt shed, 
And thou wilt vainly shed them ; ne'er returning, 

The vanished bliss thou never more shalt feel ; 
The heart it filled shall be a place of mourning 

And wretchedness, that time can never heal. 
And then the shades of all thy lost affections 

And blighted hopes shall haunt thy onward way, 
Mingling their sadness with thy heart's reflections, 

And tracking thee to life's extreme decay. 
Nay, shrink not, trembler, at my weak word's painting; 

Be firm — so shall thy heart un wounded be; 
And thou shalt fail not, if thine eye unfainting 

Keep its strong gaze upon eternity. 
12 



142 



THE SACRED 



THE HEART-STRICKEN. 



Time heals not the heart- stricken — common woe 
May shed its showers to-day, which with the night 
Vanish, and gaze upon the morning's light 

Contentedly and calmly ; but not so 

The grief that rises from the spirit's blight, 
For touched with it we wither, and the sight 

Of after-days is torture, deep arid slow. 

And then comes on the sickness of the earth, 
For we are not of it, and we endure 
Our lot in silence, for our tongues are poor, 

And language hath no meaning; then our mirth 
Is watching how those things are waxing fewer 
Which were our joys ; we smile to see how sure 

Our lot was cast in sadness at our birth. 

Time cannot heal our hopelessness, nor gather 
The fragments of the vase in which we placed 
The treasures of our hearts, but which, defaced, 

Is dashed to earth and broken: no, no, rather 
Time deepens all the lines which sorrow traced. 
Is there no refuge, then? yes, soul-abased, 

Pray thou in humbleness to thy great Father. 



OFFERING. 143 

But pray not thou for bliss — that dream is perished ; 

No — supplicate for patience ; so shalt thou, 

With a contented heart and quiet brow, 
Muse somewhat sweetly on the scenes that nourished 

Thy young heart's throbbings ; and if tears should 
flow, 

Their sources will not be the clouds of woe, 
But in those fountains by the happy cherished. 



VERSES TO 



And art thou sad ? Thou in whose heart 
The holiest, loveliest feelings rest, 

And painful is thy chosen part, 

With doubts, and fears, and cares opprest ? 

O yet regret not thou the call 

Which asks thy youth, thy strength, thy all ? 

That offering is not made in vain, 

Some human thoughts may try thy love, 

But weary hours of toil and pain, 

Pure hopes shall raise thy soul above ; 

And thine the recompense be given 

To lead us, as thy own, to heaven. 



144 THE SACRED 

Yes! childhood's form by thee is led 

To bend before the holy shrine ; 
There young devotion's tear is shed, 

There breathe high aims and thoughts divine ! 
O faint not, there thy steps have trod, 
To lead the pure in heart to God ! 

In noblest minds will deepest lie 

The kindling wish for wider power ; 

To raise, to guide, to sanctify, 

And all around new blessings shower ; 

And disappointment still must rise, 

From that soul's lofty purities ! 

But we must trust ; with trembling hand, 

'T is our's a little seed to sow ; 
It springs at the Divine command, 

And may to full perfection grow ; 
Beauty and fragrance it shall bring, 
And breathe of everlasting spring. 



OFFERING. 145 



DEATH. 



What art thou, strange and unknown destiny, 
Mysterious thing, called Death ! which hath such 

power 
To gloom the soul, yes in its lightest hour, 
And make it dizzy with futurity, 
With thoughts that quiver on the boundary 
Of mortal knowledge, and fall back again 
Upon the anxious heart, and wondering brain, 
From heaven's vault to their own obscurity ? 

What art thou — that thy very name's a spell 
To raise terrific phantoms, and to make 
The living blood in its warm mansion quake, 
And the calm pulses quicken and rebel ? 
If thought of thee came leagued with that of Hell, 
And brought dark bodings, then it might be so ; 
But thou art angel-sent, to realms below, 
Of purer spheres, and brighter skies, to tell. 

Is not God goodness ? wherefore shall we fear, 
O death ! though dim, unsearchable, unseen, 
12* 



146 THE SACRED 

Thy mission is, and hath for ever been ; 

Though none return to tell thy secrets here, 

Yet will I tremble not to feel thee near ; 

Thou canst not reach my spirit, and I dare 

To front thy terrors, awful as they are, 

When from a Saviour's lips redeeming love I hear. 

Yes — God is goodness ; and perchance even thou, 
Fancied so fearful, wilt but softly break 
Our mortal fetters, till released we wake, 
Heaven's holiest breezes playing on our brow. 
Angel of death ! I do not fear thee now ; 
I see the good with smiles before thee stand ; 
I know a Father's love directs thy hand, 
And to the high behest I calmly bow. 



CHRISTIAN CONSOLATION. 



When doubts and fears assail my soul, 
Which trembling owns their dark control, 
When sorrows thicken o'er my head, 
And when my path with clouds is spread, 
When earthly hope has past away, 



OFFERING. 147 

And friendship sheds a fainter ray, 

Oh in that hour of deep distress, 

Where shall I seek for happiness ? 

I'll seek it in the lowly cot, 

In blessing the lone sufferer's lot ; 

I'll seek it by the dying bed, 

Where christian peace I'll strive to shed ; 

I'll seek it in the humble prayer 

With which I soothe the breast of care ; 

I'll seek it where the tear-drop flows, 

With me, more gently, o'er its woes. 

Ah yes ! compassion's tender train 

May bring me back my peace again, 

I will not brood o'er selfish loss, 

Though mine to bear the bitter cross ; 

I will not meditate my grief, 

When wretch edu ess demands relief; 

The ministry of love is mine, 

The aim, the hope, the deed divine, 

To bless, to comfort, and to save, — 

I render all to Him who gave ! 



148 THE SACRED 



THE AUTUMN DIRGE. 



1 heard a voice, a plaintive voice, one eve amongst 

the trees, 
Which rose upon the trembling air more mournful 

than the breeze ; 
It came with every moaning gale by fits upon my ear, 
And this was the sad, touching strain I almost wept 

to hear. 

* It is not that the autumn wind through the lone 
woods is sighing, 

It is not that the summer leaves on the pale boughs 
are dying, 

Nor that the little birds are hushed which late so 
sweetly sung, 

Nor that the flowers are perishing which once a fra- 
grance flung. 

The earth indeed is green no more, but it is not for 

this, 
That I mourn with the withering trees, although their 

bloom I miss ; 



OFFERING. 149 

The trees 1 know will shoot again, the vales again 

will ring, 
And yet once more, at spring's bright call, the little 

birds will sing. 

But there's a sadness in my heart that may not pass 
away, 

That will not heed, and will not feel, the fairest sum- 
mer day ; 

When all around awake to joy, I shall be weary still, 

Though gentle skies, and winds, and flowers their 
destined course fulfil. 

For I have not performed my part, though every thing 

I see, 
From infancy even to this hour, its lesson told to me ; 
The birds have sung, the flowers have bloomed, the 

green earth had her prime, 
But I have been but like a weed upon the stream of 

time. 

For my bright years have passed away and have been 

idle all ; 
And lovely hopes I've seen decay, as fast as leaves 

can fall ; 
Aspirings high, and beauteous dreams, but mocked 

me with their light, 
For life with its cold blight has chilled my visions of 

delight. 



150 THE SACRED 

So it is meet for me to sit and gaze on fading things ; 

The melancholy change I love which darkening win- 
ter brings ; 

The lowering sky, the wailing breeze, the dreary 
scenes I prize 

Before the summer's sweetest bloom, before its softest 
skies. 

But yet the weed, though cast away, may live a little 

while, 
So I may not at once decay, though parted from thy 

smile ; 
But do not think I call it life — it is a joyless thing ; — 
The weed must perish which the hand does from the 

garden fling. 



LINES. 



When clouds are darkening o'er the day, 
Go ! try to smile them all away ; 
When storms are brooding o'er the main, 
Say ! canst thou make it calm again ? 



OFFERING. J 5] 

The rain is falling fast in showers, 
Canst thou recall the sunny hours, 
Or bid in winter's gloomy scene, 
The earth and trees again be green ? 

Thou mayst do this ere thou canst still 
The throbbing waves of human will, 
Or teach but one unhappy heart 
To bid its cares and woes depart. 

Oh ! vain attempt — thou canst not bind 
Those restless energies of mind, 
Which with their fatal force control 
The sufferer towards the destined goaL 

It is another power than thine 

Which must electrify that shrine, 

And waken in their deep recess 

The thoughts that save, the hopes that bless. 



152 THE SACRED 

SONNET. 

TO A FRIEND, IN ABSENCE. 



O kind and gentle ! never from my heart, 

Though far, far distant must our dwellings be, 
Can the sweet traces of thyself depart, 

So deeply rooted in my memory ! 
And be it so — while thus to think on thee 

In each event has power to soothe and charm, 
Thou the sweet resting-place where thought may flee, 

And gather strength, and feel the mind grow calm? 
Bright with benevolence, how late thine eye 

Was gazing on me : — other eyes than mine 
Behold thee now, and make the quick reply ; 

And other tongues may give response to thine. 
But not a soul, remote or near, can be 
More one in heart than I, my friend ! with thee. 



OFFERING. 153 



SONNET. 



MATTHEW, CHAP. XI. 



1 Come unto me,' the heavenly Teacher said, 
' All ye with labor and with toil opprest, 
And I will give your wearied spirits rest ; 
And bear my yoke, and in my footsteps tread, 
For I am meek and lowly, and will lead 
Your souls to peace ; for gentle is my yoke, 
My burthen light.' — Oh ! not in vain were spoke, 
Saviour, thy words of mercy ; still decreed 
To cheer my drooping soul, upon its way 

Through earthly scenes of trial, care, and strife. 
Yes, I will come to thee : thy words of life 
Shall calm each anxious thought, and chase away 
The hopes, the fears, the vain desires that rise, 
To lure my spirit from its kindred skies. 
13 



i54 THE SACRED 



THE CHURCHYARD. 



When in the peaceful scene of graves 

I walk, with gentle tread ; 
And mark the green grass as it waves 

Above some loved one's head ; — 

It is not sorrow that I feel, — 
Ah no ! thoughts far more deep 

Upon my pensive spirit steal, 
Than ere bade mourner weep. 

All holy thoughts seem gathering there, 
With sacred influence round ; 

And every sigh is mixed with prayer 
Upon that quiet ground. 

Sweet visions of the future come, 

And I forget my tears, 
And long to reach my Father's home, 

Away from cares and fears. 



OFFERING. 155 



HOME. 



O home ! thy happiness is dearest, best — 

In morn's bright hour to see the radiant sun 
Awake us from health's soft, untroubled rest, 

And feel the day of duty is begun ; 
With thoughtful heart to raise the early prayer, 

Fresh from the spirit, like the dew on flowers ; 
Open to heaven our every wish and care, 

And yield to God those first delightful hours. 
How sweet, while nature lends her breath divine, 

To all that grows imparting fragrancy, 
To see the earth in glowing beauty shine, 

And hear the lark's first note ascending high ; 
But sweeter still it is to home and me 

Than all the charms that mantle earth and sky, 
With morning beams the smile I love to see, 

And meet affection hi a parent's eye. 
And when I breathe the tender evening air, 

And all around is loveliness and peace, 
'Tis not the blossoms and the breeze to share 

That bids me hail the hour when labours cease. 
No! radiant infant-looks are round me then, 

And happy dreams are with me of their fate ; 



156 THE SACRED 

To their wild laughter my heart rings again, 

And feels like them with childish joy elate. 
I love the flowers their little hands entwine, 

I hail the spring — because upon their brow 
I see its pure, reviving influence shine, 

And on their cheek its vermeil brightness glow. 
I hail the summer — for the soft south wind, 

Which wafts delicious perfume from the rose, 
Come's with the thought of home's calm hour com- 
bined, 

And evening's gentle, melancholy close. 
For then I read the tale of other years, 

And lips are eloquent now laid in dust, 
The ' beauty of repose ' which nature wears 

Then fills my heart with tenderness and trust; 
I hear the voices I may hear no more, 

I meet the eyes I ever loved to see, 
I seem to greet some tidings from the shore, 

The far-off shore of dark eternity ! 
The sun that sits in richest splendour there, 

The waters glowing with the depths of light, 
Nature around so still, so bright, so fair, 

And the soft notes that usher in the night. 
O ! these are not to every sense so sweet, 

As is the hushed and melancholy mood, 
In which we seem departed friends to meet, 

And call the lost to share our solitude! 



OFFERING. 157 

When fancy waves unchecked her magic wand, 

And memory's thrilling touch is at our heart, 
And every breeze by which our brow is fanned, 

Echoes some tone beloved — when our own part 
Of human care and sorrow is forgot, 

And hope is with them in those lovelier bowers, 
What are the shades, the changes of our lot, 

When that blue heaven and all beyond are ours ? 
So sinks the peace Religion's calm inspires, 

Like nature's holiest influence on the breast, 
Pure as the sinking sun's expiring fires, 

And calm as night's first hour of tranced rest. 
The last sigh from the dying flowers exhaled 

Sheds not such sweet and soothing fragrance round, 
As comes the dream, when mortal hopes have failed, 

To those who tread on memory's holy ground. 



THE WORSHIPPER OF NATURE. 



Nature ! in thee alone this heart hath found 

That which hath ne'er deceived it — in thy grove, 

Thy craggy rock, thy cataract's awful sound, 
Is that which hath my heart's sole human love : 
13* 



158 THE SACRED 

I love to watch thy fading autumn skies, 

To view thy russet fields, and foliage pale, 
To see thy suns in glory set and rise, 

And hear thy voice in every passing gale : 
I love to sit, with fixed and tireless eye, [charms ; 

And mark young spring unfold thy thousand 
And when the wintry blast sounds fearfully, 

I love to walk thy paths with folded arms, 
And meditate on change, and time, and death, 

That robs thy sweets, and sucks thy youthful bloom, 
Borne to the wild wind all thy summer breath, 

Thy flowers all faded in the common doom, 
I love to pour to thee my unseen tears, 

Which fondly fall upon my mother-earth ; 
The short, and sorrowing spring-tide of my years, 

No eye to mark, in pity, or in mirth. 
For I am not of them : to thee alone 

I breathe my hymn, and pour my youthful heart ; 
Thy faithful rocks re-echo every tone, 

Thy gloomy shades a peaceful charm impart. 
Nature, thou canst not fail me ; human ties 

Break like the frost-work of thy wintry morn, 
But there is that in thy lone sympathies, 

Which never from the trusting heart is torn. 
Thou canst not be unkind ; day after day 

Thy flowers still open, and thy sun still cheers, 
Pouring the brightness of its rising ray 

Upon the mournful pathway of my tears. 



OFFERING. 159 

Thou never dost forget ; riches and blessing 

Come forth from thee, as from a mother's breast 
Flows the full tide to meet her babe's caressing, 

So come thy hallowed gifts, all unreprest, 
Thy spring's fresh sighs, thy summer's languid breeze, 

Thy autumn's wild and melancholy blast. 
Thy winter's silent day, and leafless trees, 

All, all still blest, till life itself be past : 
And when at last thy votary to the grave 

All unreluctant goes, then only thou 
Wilt weep o'er one thou hadst not power to save, 

Faithful in death, still wave the cypress bough. 



TO A FRIEND ON PARTING. 



Farewell ! the blessing from above be with thee, 

And guide and cheer thy wanderings ! O, my friend, 

It is not our's to part with streaming eyes, 

With all the pomp, the luxury of woe, 

With words of sorrow, exquisitely framed 

To glut the pampered feelings. — We have trod 

Our blended paths as those who early knew 

That time and chance must part them ; we have loved 



160 THE SACRED 

To walk together there ; to see the light 
Of hope reflected in each other's eyes ; 
To know we felt together, and that then 
When nature, lovely nature, poured her sweets, 
At eve, or morning, or the midnight hour, 
Forth sprang our hearts alike to worship Him, 
Who is our God and her's. And we have knelt 
Down in his house together ; and have risen 
With hearts above the paltry witnessings 
Of earthly friendship. There we learnt to strive 
For the blest portion of the pure in heart ; 
Each saw in each a dweller of the skies, 
A spirit framed to soar from strength to strength, 
That came from God, and must to God return, 
His righteous bidding done. And could we then 
Look in each other's eyes, join hand to hand, 
In an unhallowed friendship ? Could we stoop 
To clog each other's wings with earthly weights, 
When we might rise together to the skies ? 
No, — rather, rather oceans roll between us ; 
All nature join, all art exert her powers, 
To keep our grovelling souls forever parted ! 

Onward, then, 
Right onward, to the combat ! each alone 
Must urge his course awhile ; must tread the thorns 
And pluck the flowers of life, and must prepare 
His secret purpose — stretch his single arm 
To aid the wretched, cope with powerful guilt, 



OFFERING. 161 

And, harder task, wage warfare with himself. 
But 't will be over soon ; life wanes apace ; 
Go, in the fulness of an heavenly trust ; 
Go, and our God be with thee ! Fare thee well. 



SONNET. 



JOHN, CHAP. XIX. 



Stretched on the cross, with mortal woe oppressed, 
The Son of Man breathed forth his parting sighs ; 
Darkness o'erspread the earth ; and then the cries 
Of smitten hearts were heard, and nearer pressed 
His mother, and the follower whom he loved. 
' Mother, behold thy son,' the Saviour said — 
' Behold thy Mother.' The o'erwhelming dread 
Of death came o'er him ; yet his pale lips moved 
With love and mercy still, as the base crowd 
Mocked at his sufferings, and the tumult grew. 
1 Father, forgive ! they know not what they do ! ' 
Was heard amid his anguish, and aloud 
He cried, ' 'T is finished ' — bowed his hallowed head, 
And to his God the chastened spirit fled. 



162 THE SACRED 



THE MOURNER. 



Pale trembler, weep, by earthly hope forsaken, 
Weep for thy flower, the rainbow of thy sight ; 
Weep, but with quiet tears — His hand hath taken 
Whose word can turn the soul's despair to light ; 
Weep, for thy tears are blest, they shall waken 
Within thy breast a soft and calm delight ; 
Nature in kindness taught thy tears to flow, 
And soothe the mourner in his hour of woe. 

What fills the soul when earthly hopes have perished ? 
What hand can bind a bruised and broken heart ? 
Can it e'er cease to sigh o'er that it cherished, 
From which high heaven has doomed that it shall part? 
O yes ! by holier, higher feelings nourished, 
In those bright realms where streams of gladness start, 
The soul that mourned on earth shall there be blest, 
And taste in heaven a pure and perfect rest. 



OFFERING. 163 



SONNET. 



In the dark hour of sorrow, when thy breast 
Is filled with thoughts of anguish, deep and keen ; 
And memory weeps o'er hopes that once have been ; 

Seek, sufferer, seek the christian's hallowed rest. 

To thy torn heart, in holy trust, be prest 
The book of God, and on his promise lean, 
Whose aid is ever thine ; where, all unseen 

By mortal eye, the tears so long represt 

Flow long and uncontrolled. O then His love 
Shall turn those tears to rapture ; He shall raise 

Thy vanished joy to bliss that angels prove, 

And tune thy voice to hymns and songs of praise ; 

The bitter conflict of thy breast shall cease, 

And heavenly mercy win thy soul to peace. 



164 THE SACRED 



THE VISION. 



I fashioned in my soul a fantasy 

Of most surpassing richness ; as my heart 

In memory turns to it, sigh follows sigh, 
And my sad tear-drops in disquiet start. 

I walked upon heaven's calm and azure shore, 
And o'er my ear, like murmurings of the sea, 

By distance softened, came the gathering roar 
Of the far regions of mortality. 

And thou wert with me there — thou best and bright 
one, 

Whom upon earth I loved and lost, and thou 
With that sweet voice that could so well delight one, 

Wert softly breathing thy heart's tremulous vow. 

And thou wert mine for ever — yes, for ever, 
In thine unfading beauty's earthless bloom ; 

There were no mortal hands our vows to sever, 
There for our loves there yawned no mortal tomb. 



OFFERING. 165 

And thou bent on me thine eye's meek affection 
With an unchanging gaze ; there was no fear, 

No trouble in that sweet look, no dejection, 
No earthly shade, save rapture's holy tear. 

Then a bright angel, with a lovely voice, 
Cried, ' This for all your mortal sufferings ; 

This for your cross in patience borne — rejoice ! ' 
The light air trembled to his passing wings. 

And rapturous was our lot ; undying youth, 
Hearts purified by trial, fadeless love, 

Rejoicing in the fulness of its truth ; 

All that on earth we vainly hoped to prove. 

And yet, though angels now, we were meek-hearted ; 

The vision passed ; in anguish I awoke, 
Shed some sad tears o'er heavenly hopes departed, 

Then patiently put on my mortal yoke. 
14 



166 THE SACRED 



HYMN. 



* He feedeth on ashes j a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that 
he cannot deliver his soul.' 



He who, upon the world's vain shore, 
Forgetteth Thee, Eternal One ! 

Soon shall his dangerous race be o'er, 
His fatal course be run. 

The heart that turneth cold from Thee, 
Thy great and glorious power ; 

That feareth not thy majesty, 
Nor doth thy love adore ; 

That heart is dead, though warm with life ; 

Is dark, 'mid heaven's own light ; 
Passions of earth there hold their strife, 

And shroud the soul in night. 

Though pleasure call, ambition fire, 
Fortune and glory hail, 



OFFERING. 167 

It never breathed the high desire 
That turns earth's glories pale ; 

That tells of nobler, purer joys, 

Thy service and Thy praise ; 
And bids the aspiring spirit rise 

Beyond life's shadowy days ; 

That speaks of virtue, trust, and peace ; 

A clime more fair than this, 
Where trials and temptations cease, 

In sainted happiness. 

The heart where heavenly hopes and aims 

Have never shed their bloom, 
Its noblest liberty disclaims, 

Is fettered to the tomb. 

It feeds on ashes, vanities, 

Which soon, oh ! soon must fleet ; 

How shall that dust-bound spirit rise, 
The jojrs of heaven to meet ? 

How shall an angel's feelings warm 

The heart that never knew 
Devotion's glow, that holiest charm 

Which can the soul renew ? 



168 THE SACRED 

O can benevolence and love 

Become the blest employ 
Of one, who ne'er on earth would move 

To share another's joy ? 

Who never dropt one healing tear, 

To soothe another's pain ? 
Ah no ! the spirit fettered here 

Will hardly break its chain. 

Then pause in time — a moment pause, 

And ask if on thy soul 
Is graven deep God's holy laws, 

Is felt his blest control ? 

Pray, in thy helplessness and trust ; 

A Father's love may hear, 
And raise thy perished heart from dust, 

To worship in his fear. 



OFFERING. 169 



HYMN. 



Teach me to spurn the poor deceit, that tries 
To shun the scrutiny of human eyes ; 
Remembering, in the brightness or the shade, 
Alike Thy holy eyes my path pervade ; 
And when the world its silent vigil keeps, 
I cannot shun the gaze which never sleeps. 
So o'er my heart thy light of love shall flow, 
So shall I rise above all mortal woe ; 
So shall my eyes, though wet with human tears, 
Look calmly through the vale of coming years, 
Nor longer brood, with unavailing sighs, 
O'er my youth's store of treasured memories, 
But, with immortal guidance ever blest, 
Cast every earthly terror from my breast ; 
Tread in the path our great forerunner trod, 
And, Christ-like, find my perfect joy in God. 
14 # 



170 THE SACRED 



MORNING HYMN. 



My God ! in morning's radiant hour, 
To Thee would I lift up ray heart ; 

The shades of night obey thy power, 
And at thy sun's bright beams depart. 

From sleep's deep trance my thoughts arise, 

Obedient to thy mighty call, 
With all their powers and energies, 

And at thy will Thou kindlest all. 

Father and Guardian ! to thy shrine 
The life Thou shieldest will I bring ; 

All, great Creator ! all is thine, 
My heart the noblest offering ! 

The morning light shall see my prayer ; 

The noon-day heats shall witness praise ; 
In evening glooms, and cooler air, 

The grateful hymn I still will raise. 

And not a star shall shine above, 

The moon shall never beam her hour, 



OFFERING. 171 

But still my soul shall bless thy love. 
Or, rapt in wonder, own thy power. 

And when, with sweet and soothing sleep, 

My cares and sorrows find a rest, 
Ere still oblivion o'er me creep, 

Thy trust shall calm the wearied breast. 

The spirit unto Thee shall pour 
The joy or grief of that brief day, 

Review its path when all is o'er, 
And humbled, yet confiding pray. 

That deep repose, that death-like scene, 
Safe in thy care shall welcome be ; 

The shadowy thoughts on thee shall lean, 
The eye's last beam be raised to Thee ! 

And should ' a deeper sleep impend,' 

A darker hour demand my faith, 
With Thee, Creator, Guardian, Friend, 

I'll enter on the shades of death ! 



172 THE SACRED 

SONNET. 

ON THE LATE REV. J. BUCKMINSTER, OF AMERICA. 



Oh ! sainted virtue ! as upon thy page, 

With burning heart, and eyes suffused, I bend, 
Life seems fresh beauty and fresh hope to blend, 

Kindled by thy deep thoughts : yes, age to age 

Shall breathe thy inspiration ; at that shrine 
Where holiest visions greeted thy young prayer, 
'T is our's to meet thee, that high trust to share, 

And gird our spirits for their race divine. 

Still, still before us shall thine image shine, 
In the unclouded glory of its power, 
Pure, virtuous, steadfast, even in death's dark hour, 

Calm and resigned amid thy frame's decline. 

Oh ! consecrated genius ! thou shalt be 

A guiding star to noblest victory. 



OFFERING. 173 



THE STREAM OF LIFE. 



Deem them not blest whom prosperous fortune guides 

O'er life's smooth shore, or on her level tides ; 

Who see the sunshine of one changeless sky, 

No warning cloud, no saving breezes nigh. 

Do hope and rapture fill their summer sail, 

All gently wafted to the passing gale ? 

Does every hour some light-winged pleasure rise, 

Adorned with all fate's richest hand supplies ? 

Deem them not blest — for to their darkened eyes, 

A world presents its store of vanities ; 

Wooes them to taste, to trust, and to admire, 

And kindles in the soul each weak desire. 

See, to her scenes they rush in frantic haste, 

All her delusion, all her folly taste ; 

In fashion's trifles lose each nobler aim, 

And every earlier wish for better fame. 

Where is the generous deed, the great design, 

In those who study but to dress and shine ; 

Lose all superior thought, and holier trust, 

To hold communion with the things of dust ; 

Sparkle a moment, like some gilded fly. 

Flutter away their being, and then die ? 



174 



THE SACRED 



Oh is this life ? is this that sacred gift, 

The soul to virtue and to heaven to lift, 

Given in the circle of this fleeting time, 

To sow the seed of a celestial clime ; 

To cultivate those feelings, hopes, and deeds, 

To which eternal happiness succeeds, 

And teach to blossom, 'mid the thorns of earth, 

The flowers whose beauty is of heavenly birth ? 

What ! is this life ? to every scene to fly, 

Yet ne'er to the great Giver lift the eye, 

To view his power in nature's wide expanse, 

Yet never raise up one adoring glance ? 

In the world's mockeries still to play a part, 

Till pride and vanity corrupt the heart, 

Till the last scene of latest life be trod, 

And it is past — a life without a God ! 

Oh ! happier they who feel his chastening hand, 

And by affliction learn his high command ; 

Whom sorrow leads to tremble and adore, 

To know him better, and to seek him more ; 

Who, as the world and its vain hope recedes, 

Welcome the brighter prospect that succeeds, 

Pour in humility and hope their tears, 

And with religion hallow all their years. 

What though by grief, by pain, by sufferings, 

They learned the value of eternal things ; 

And the rapt soul, that seemed on earth to hang, 

Was slowly weaned by many a silent pang, 



OFFERING. ] 75 

And many a bitter conflict, many a strife, 

Lingered around the vanities of life ; 

Yet patience, virtue, persevering love, 

At length have borne the chastened soul above ; 

And holier tastes, and purer joys arise, 

And peace descends, — such peace as glads the skies. 

Oh deem them blest ; in every scene they tiy, 

They live as children 'neath a Father's eye, . 

Guard every virtue, feed each pure desire, 

And watch through life o'er the ethereal fire. 

Does disappointment sadden o'er their youth, 

They seek the refuge of eternal truth, 

There only are the joys that cannot fail, 

And their heart glows, although their cheek be pale. 

Does strong temptation try them, there they fly, 

And put on their immortal panoply, 

Own nature's weakness, but in christian strength 

Grow strong, and come off conquerors at length ; 

Higher and holier rising, till at last 

Temptation's self grows weaker, and is past : 

And making their's His high and blessed will, 

Who bids the human heart beat or be still, 

Resigned and happy, they receive their lot, 

No mortal change to them where God is not. 

Being of beings ! whose unbounded love 

Exceeds all thought that human heart can prove ; 

Whose mercy, felt in every moment's breath, 

Guides us through life, and succours us in death ; 



176 THE SACRED 

Whose providential care, whose tenderness 
Nor mind can reach, nor human power express ; 
To whom the incense of one grateful prayer, 
From the weak creatures thou hast made thy care, 
Is more than all the pomp of sacrifice ; 
Who, though enthroned beyond the radiant skies, 
Yet watchest mortal virtue ; — to thy shrine 
Would I devote this humble verse of mine ; 
Aware, though million worlds seek thy behest, 
Yet is thy temple in the human breast. 



DIVINE PROTECTION. 



Is thy path lonely ? fear it not, for He 

Who marks the sparrow fall is guarding thee ; 

And not a star shines o'er thine head by night, 

But he hath known that it will reach thy sight ; 

And not a joy can beautify thy lot, 

But tells thee still that thou art unforgot ; 

Nay, not a grief can darken or surprise, 

Swell in thy heart, or dim with tears thine eyes, 

But it is sent in mercy and in love, 

To bid thy helplessness seek strength above. 



OFFERING. 177 



DEVOTION. 



It is a lovely sight, when youth bows down, 
With soft bright eyes, subdued in silent prayer ; 
When cheeks that never wore the hue of care, 
And brows encircled with the radiaut crown 
Of sunny hair, and gentle folded hands, 
And lips that breathe of happiness, are shrined 
In the communion of their own pure mind, 
With the eternal purity ; when joy 
Brings its young, unstained offering, and each thought 
Is of affection's holiest influence wrought ; 
And sorrow hath not entered to destroy 
The bright, unbroken trust ; when not a tear 
Hath trembled o'er the hope of coming years, 
And every lovely dream that lingers there 
Is all unknown to life's maturer fears ; 
When piety sheds flowers on innocence, 
And sweetens early days. Is there a sight 
More beautiful than this ? or is there incense 
More grateful unto heaven than hearts thus light 
Of sin or sorrow's weight ? — Ah yes ! there is 
A dearer, nobler offering — 't is the prayer 
15 



178 THE SACRED 

Breathed from the lips long paled by time and care, 
And all estranged from hope of worldly bliss. 
'T is resignation's offering ; when the heart 
Hath wept departed loved ones, yet hath turned 
With stronger faith above, and inly burned 
With holier trust ; when it hath seen depart 
The wreck of its false fortunes, yet can raise 
To heaven a hymn of gratitude and praise. 



THE DEPARTED. 



The friends we love have passed away ; 

The forms so dear no more we see ; 
No more we meet the eye' smild ray, 

Or catch the smile of sympathy. 

No — these are fled ; but ask thy heart, 
Are no fond traces lingering there, — 

Memories we would not bid depart, 

And hopes that bless our hour of prayer? 

Is not the dream of heaven more sweet, 
Bright with the living forms of love ? 



OFFERING. 179 

Does not each trial that we meet 
Raise our rapt spirits more above ? 

Yes ! death, that pales our curdling cheek, 
Tells of an angel's opening bliss — 

Again we view the form we seek, 
Bright with immortal happiness. 

For faith delighted views that scene 

Of fadeless glory and of grace, 
Forgets the years that intervene, 

And bids us see them 'face to face.' 

What though a few brief ills of life, 
A little pathway marked with tears, 

Some struggles of the Christian's strife, 
Await us in those future years ; — 

Soon, soon they pass ; and even now 
Those angel forms may guard our way, 

Weave the blest chaplet for our brow, 
And guide our footsteps lest they stray. 

In every thought to heaven allied, 

In every virtuous deed and aim, 
Are the departed at our side, 

Whose memory fans the sacred flame. 



180 THE SACRED 

And is this death ? first born to God, 
To trace that pure celestial sphere, 

And rise in faith and hope unawed, 
To joys we scarce can vision here ? 

Oh early blest — how vain our sighs ; 

Our fond, impetuous tears how vain ; 
To heaven we raise our weeping eyes — 

Our loss is their eternal gain. 



BAPTISM. 



The mother stands in the sacred aisle, 

And looks on her child with a trembling smile ; 

That smile is mingled with many a fear, 

And scarce can she check a rising tear ; 

In a world which is full of care and strife, 

Do her dreams now picture his future life. 

She has brought her babe — she has brought it there, 
Where so oft for him she has breathed the prayer ; 
She has brought him — an offering to her God, 
On the spot where her own fond steps have trod ; 



OFFERING. 181 

And that early love is mingling now 

With a Christian's hope on her kindling brow. 

She turns her gaze to that helpless one, 
Upon her for love and protection thrown ; 
And its feebleness causes the tear to start, 
And she presses him closer to her heart; 
And to the fount she draws nearer still, 
As a pledge she will shield him from every ill. 

The holy words on the air arise, 

And hushed are that mother's anxious sighs ; 

Her thoughts are filled with a deeper faith ; 

As she turns to hear what the preacher saith ; 

And every doubt has vanished away, 

As in fervent trust she kneels down to pray. 

Her child and his fate — oh what does it seem 
Now, in that holier and sweeter dream ? 
What loftier destinies are given — 
That feeble thing is the heir of heaven ; 
And a mind with powers and talents sublime 
Is given to her training, for more than time. 

Oh ! as she hears of immortal doom, 
How changes upon her cheek the bloom ; 
How earnest her prayer to him who gave, 
For aid to help her, to succour, and save. 
15 * 



182 THE SACRED 

What a sacred trust she feels is her's, 
What a deathless hope in her bosom stirs. 

It is over — her pledge is borne above, 
And her lips have sealed that rite of love ; 
Her tears have attested her heart's deep vow, 
And smiles of affection are round her now. 
She has promised to give him a Christian's trust, 
She has raised her thoughts from the things of dust. 

It is over — but many and many a year 

May return to that mother's breast the fear ; 

And as to the altar she now has turned, 

Till the holier faith in her bosom burned, 

So, through every mortal change and care, 

Must Pier strength, her comfort, her peace be prayer. 



OFFERING. 188 



JOHN, CHAP. IX. 



He stood in darkness, and to him unknown 
This living world of loveliness and light, 
Till, touched by Jesus' hand, the shades of night 
Fell from his sightless orbs, and round him shone 
The kindling beams of day : and shall we own 
The power divine that chased his earthly gloom, 
Nor listen to the voice that said, ' I come, 
A light to those who see not ; ' from the throne 
Of mercy infinite, the heavenly rays 

Of truth descend upon the sinking heart 
Of darkened man ; the heavy shades depart 
Of sorrow, sin, and death, and to his gaze 
The glories of immortal love, unfurled, 
Disclose the visions of a brighter world. 



184 THE SACRED 

'WEEP NOT.' 

LUKE, CHAP. VII. 



From out the city's gate there came a bier, — 
A mother's only son upon it lay, 
A widowed mother, who for many a day 
Had him alone to love ; and oft the tear 
Of bitter grief she poured, as at his side, 

With sorrow's trembling step she slowly went. 
The Saviour came — with mercy's blest intent, 
He gazed upon the hearse, beheld the tide 
Of anguish which flowed forth ; compassionate, 
8 Weep not,' he said, and touched the bier. ' Arise, 
Young man, to life ! ' the dead unclosed his eyes, 
And started up from his dark funeral state, 
And the blest hand which raised him from the grave, 
Him to a mother's throbbing bosom gave. 



OFFERING. 185 



THE ABSENT FRIEND. 



There is an hour in which I think of thee, 

'T is when the day-light fades upon the flowers, 
And the moon dawns upon the evening hours, 

And nature smiles in soft tranquillity. 

'T is a sweet hour ; for then the sighing wind, 
With dirge-like music, lulls the world to rest ; 
More plaintive sings the bird upon her nest, 

And all seems blessed : then I call to mind 

Thy gentle virtues, and the scenes beloved 
Which we together trod, and like a dream 
Most passing beautiful do those days seem, 

Of confidence serene, and faith approved. 

Alas ! even like the bright and sunny day, 

Have those delightful scenes all passed away ! 



186 THE SACRED 



HYMN. 



Thus said Jesus ; < Go, and do 
As thou would'st be done unto.' 
— Here thy perfect duty see, 
All that God requires of thee. 

Would'st thou then rejoice to find 
Others generous, just, and kind ; 
Think upon these words, and do 
As thou would'st be done unto. 

Would'st thou, when thy faults are known, 
Wish that pardon should be shewn ; 
Be forgiving then, and do 
As thou would'st be done unto. 

Should'st thou helpless be and poor, 
Would'st thou not for aid implore ; 
Think of others then, and be 
What thou would'st they should to thee. 

For compassion if thou call, 
Be compassionate to all ; 



OFFERING. 187 

If thou would'st affection find, 
Be affectionate and kind. 

If thou would'st obtain the love 

Of thy gracious God above ; 

Then to all his children be 

What thou would'st they should to thee. 



THE PAST. 



The past in shadowy distance lies, 
Silent and changeless as the dead ; 

A world for thought, though from its skies 
The glowing light of life has fled ; 

For memory, like a moon-beam, plays 

O'er the dim scenes of other days. 

We cannot bring one treasure back, 
Of all we lost or wasted then ; 

Nor one step of that devious track 
Can ever, ever tread again : 

How deep, and awful is the pall 

O'er that which nothing can recall. 



188 THE SACRED 

The future is, we know not what, — 
Untried, unseen, unsearchable ; 

The present, — a contracted spot, 

Where the mind will not, cannot dwell ; 

And over these is ever cast 

A blight or blessing from the past. 

Delusive hope before us springs, 

Still seeking some more sunny clime, 

And brings upon her halcyon wings 
Sweet promise for a future time ; 

That time to us may ne'er be known, 

The past, — the past is all our own. 

Joy may have ecstasies, whose birth 
Is of the present, passing hour ; 

These wake the spirit into mirth 
Or rap the senses by their power ; 

But those in which the past hath part 

Are feasts of feeling to the heart. 

Affliction's cloud, however dark, 
Grows lighter by the lapse of years, 

And many a sorrow now we mark, 
Once deeply felt, whose very tears 

Have left, as brighter scenes passed by, 

Only a rainbow in the sky. 



OFFERING, 189 

Guilt seeks to lose his anguish deep 

Iu maddening crowds, and lighted halls ; 

But time's still shadows onward creep, — 
Night's curtain o'er this mockery falls ; 

Then darker shade comes gathering fast 

Around his path — it is the past, 

O God ! that we should dare to do 
That, which we dare not think upon ; 

Deeds, that will stand before our view, 
With all their fatal lustre gone : 

Their darker hue alone shall last, 

Recorded in the immortal past, 

'T is this which makes the wastes of mind, 

The wilderness of homes we see. 
The pure in heart a peace can find 

In their own hidden sanctuary ; 
Even though appearing to survive 
All that, which made it life to live. 

Yes, the bonds broken long ago, 
Around the lonely heart that twine, 

Almost exist in the warm glow 

They borrow from their living shrine: 

The loved, who from our side are gone, 

Still in a glorious past live on. 
16 



190 THE SACRED 

Aye, every frail and fading flower 
The sunshine of affection rears, 

Cherished in friendship's happy hour, 
Is precious, though bedewed with tears, 

And lovelier in the moonlight glows, 

Than when its morn of gladness rose. 

I do not grieve that I have known 
One, that was ever dear to me ; 

Although his kindly voice is gone, 
His smile I never more shall see. 

The past I can review at will, 

And there that smile is beaming still. 

I would not lose one bud of joy, 
Because I know that it must fade ; 

Nor pass one guiltless pleasure by, 
But for an hour's enjoyment made ; 

Since such delights, even when resigned, 

Will gem the track I leave behind. 

Each kindness that the zealous care 
Of true affection has conferred, — 

The language of a parting tear, 
The utterance of a gentle word, — 

Will be a treasure for the past, 

While ever memory's light shall last. 



OFFERING. 191 

Whenever love or sympathy 

The smallest happiness can shed ; 
Whenever in another's eye 

The gleam of gratitude is read ; 
There is a joy will not be old, 
Even when the sun itself is cold. 

For if, of every secret thought, 

A register is kept above ; 
If every action we have wrought 

Shall meet us in that world of love ; 
The past of time and sense will be 
The present of eternity. 

Then, blessed is the pilgrim's way, 
Though eveiy worldly hope be dead, 

If to his own untold survey 
A host of images is spread, 

Before whose front he need not quail, 

Even when flesh and heart shall fail. 

I ask but that my closing eye 

O'er an unclouded past may range, 

(So to depart is not to die,) 

To sleep but while the scene shall change. 

Then wake to find those better things, 

Which the eternal future brings. 



192 THE SACRED 



DEATH. 



And day by day she faded — from her eye 

Fled the strong brilliancy, yet tenderness 
Still triumphed there in mild serenity, 

In sweet unchanging looks of loveliness ; 

And never did her speaking eye confess 
The sufferings that she knew ; still mildly bearing 

All that God sent, those orbs but beamed to bless, 
For she was prodigal of goodness, sharing 
Her joy with all, and still delighting, though despairing. 

And others marked the rose upon her cheek, 
And hailed the happy omen ; but I knew 

The flush was death, for weaker, and more weak, 
In its decaying strength her frail form grew ; — 
And yet it seemed that death around her threw 

But sweeter loveliness, more gentle grace. 

Vain — vain — a few short moments fleetly flew, — 

A shade came o'er the brightness of her face, — 

She meekly bowed her head, and died in my embrace. 



OFFERING. 193 



STANZAS. 



In the day-spring of youth, and the dawn of emotion, 
When love in its freshness breathed first o'er thy 
heart, 

Thou hast felt the pure joy in its dearest devotion, 
Thou has felt the pure thrill it but once can impart. 

Such joy, the reward of the just, will be given, 
Such love, to blest souls, in the fields of their rest : 

As lucid and pure as the dew-drop of heaven, 

When it gems in the morning the chaste lily's breast. 

If the bosom for one glow with rapture so bright, 
And earth can produce an emotion like this ; 

What a multiplied sum of ecstatic delight 
When its fulness is felt for each spirit in bliss. 
16* 



194 THE SACRED 



STANZAS. 



There are who fear thy summons, Death ! 

And all thy pale and cold array ; 
The young, who with rejoicing breath 

Are opening on life's sunny day. 

Yes ! all to them seems fresh and sweet ; 

And as they gaze, with raptured eye, 
On all the beautiful they meet, 

They feel it would be pain to die. 

There are to whom thy call would come, 

As to the exile's weary heart 
Would be the summons to his home ; 

That home from which he wept to part. 

There are who, worn with cares and tears, 
Look on thee as the blessed one, 

Whose hand shall close their mortal years, 
Before their faith and trust be gone. 

And, Death ! there are who look to thee 
But as the minister of grace, 



OFFERING. 195 

And who thy dark approach can see 

With smiles, for they have won the race. 

The good, the blest ! to thee they trust 

To crown them with the immortal wreath ; 

And fearless of the dreams of dust, 

As conquerors welcome thee, O Death ! 



THE BLIND. 



Alas ! for those to whom this frame 
Of heavenly workmanship is dark ; 

Who hear from whence its beauty came, 
And yet that beauty never mark ; — 

But gaze, with dim and sealed eyes, 

On the green earth and laughing skies. 

They w T alk abroad, and nature seems 
Enveloped in a death-like gloom ; 

Unseen its soft and varied gleams, — 
To them 't is but a living tomb : 

The dawn of the sweet morning light 

Can never wake them to delight, 



196 THE SACRED 

They feel the influence evening brings, 
Its gentle calm, its cooling shade ; 

But the rich colouring which it flings 
On fields and woods, in bloom arrayed, 

Alas ! to them 'tis joyless all, 

As spread with a funereal pall. 

And yet there is a brighter world 

Of thought and feeling for them blooms, 

And, in their inward soul unfurled, 
A sun more brilliant it illumes. 

Religion's holy light is their's, 

And morning praise, and evening prayers. 

And friendship's soft and soothing tone 
Still gently meets their charmed ear ; 

Mind can with mind communion own, 
A sympathy for ever dear ; 

Fairer than morning's sunny ray, 

And lovelier than the close of day. 

But ah ! there are who walk on earth 
With every sense a sealed power, 

Unconscious from their hapless birth 
Of mental charm or inward dower ; 

No holy hopes to fire their breast, 

But every nobler aim represt. 



OFFERING. 397 

And are not these more hapless still, 

In spirit blinded to the light 
That scatters every earthly ill, 

And shines amid affliction's night ; 
The blinded heart of those whose eyes 
Ne'er seek communion with the skies ? 



THE SISTERS. 



They were two sisters ; and I knew 
Them first almost in infancy ; 

I loved them as they upward grew 
From childhood's sweet simplicity. 

They had not only every trace 

Of beauty to life's spring-time given, - 
Their's was the mind's unfolding grace, 

The spirit ripening for heaven. 

How blest to watch the dawn begin, 
To mark the intellectual ray, 

The moral light that burns within, 
Thus brightening into perfect day ! 



198 THE SACRED 

A shadow o'er their morning came, — 
One fell, its chilly power beneath ; 

The other bowed her tender frame, — 
Too surely this sad change was death. 

I thought we might have passed for years 
Through life's green path- way hand in hand ; 

For youth, which has no place for fears, 
Friendship for other days had planned. 

Sweet sisters ! they are hallowed now, 
A halo round their names is spread ; 

And yet I feel, I know not how, 
As if I could not think them dead. 

They live in many a work of love, 

Their ready hands were wont to share ; 

It is not absence can remove 

The thought of them that lingers there. 

That dwells in relics less than this, 

In a lone flower, or tender tree, 
Even in the very void that is 

Wherever they were used to be. 

In that vain look, with which the eye 

Some dear familiar object seeks, 
In many a gentle memory, 

Affliction feels, yet seldom speaks. 



OFFERING. 199 

They live not in the scenes alone 

So fondly imaged from the past, 
Which, as the stream of time rolls on, 

Are deepening into distance fast; — 

But as I saw them in their prime, 

Before me now they seem to be, 
And love, which knows no bounds of time, 

Still blends them with futurity. 

Once more their smiling presence comes, 
As that which had not passed away, 

In the changed circle of our homes, 
In meetings of the Sabbath day. 

And yet I know they are not here ; 

I hear no voice, no form I see. 
They live — O God ! I know not where — 

But this I know, ' they live to thee.' 



200 THE SACRED 



PROVIDENCE. 



To all that lives has God assigned 
A strength proportioned to its day ; 

The smallest bird that skims the wind 
Finds through that pathless air a way. 

The tribes that northern regions range, 

The polar ice instinctive shun ; 
And wing their flighty unknown and strange, 

Unerring to a warmer sun. 

The frailest forms their heads that raise, 
Weak, shivering at the wintry blast, 

If they had power, His love would praise, 
Who shields them till the storm is past. 

And shall not we, His nobler care, 

Whose hearts he fills with hope and joy, 

With faith to trust, and strength to bear, 
In grateful praise our lips employ ? 



OFFERING. 201 



CONSUMPTION. 



When first we see consumption's glow 

Upon some face we love, 
We weep at once the overthrow 

Of all the hopes we prove. 

Ah ! foolish tears — we weep, we weep, 

And yet to them all tears 
Will soon be past — we live to reap 

The griefs of future years. 

For when above their quiet grave 
The grass has withered long, 

The fears, the cares which life must have 
Will still to us belong. 

The broken hope will still be ours, 

The weary lingering day, 
When autumn's gentlest, sweetest flowers 

Shall o'er their dust decay. 

But their's will be affection's sigh, 
A calm and peaceful rest, 
17 



202 THE SACRED 

A mansion in the bright blue sky, 
Amid the eternal blest. 

Weep for yourselves, forlorn, bereaved, 
For past, for future years, 

For life, that has your trust deceived — 
Yes — these things call for tears. 

But o'er the early blest — the young, 
Let no such requiem rise ; 

Fragrance and flowers to them belong, 
And only nature's sighs. 



HYMN. 

' THY KINGDOM COME.' 



1 Raised on devotion's lofty wing,' 

O God, each glowing thought we bring 

To celebrate thy praise ; 
To-day let care and sorrow cease, 
And the blest hope of future peace 

Inspire our sacred lays. 



OFFERING. 203 

Behold the happy earth rejoice ; 
Around the world a saviour voice 

Proclaims the word of love : 
The reign of vice and pain is o'er, 
Warfare and strife can rage no more, 

Nor sin our virtue move. 

Ambition droops her towering head, 
Revenge and anger, captive led, 

Now cease to haunt our way ; 
Pride, in the pomp of state arrayed, 
And vile oppression's triumphs fade, 

And shun the light of day. 

Heirs to a world of blissful rest, 
By tyrant sway no more opprest, 

We seek the immortal crown ; 
And bow before the throne of God, 
All fearless of the bigot's rod, 

Or superstition's frown. 

Father of heaven and earth ! whose eye 
Broods o'er the vast eternity, 

May thy blest kingdom come ; 
While the sure promise Thou hast given 
Shall purify our souls for heaven, 

And guide our spirits home. 



204 THE SACRED 



HEAVENLY MESSENGERS. 



Though my knee bends not at thy holy shrine, 

Nor my clasped hands invoke the care of heaven, 
The aspiration of my soul is thine, 

Father, to thee its secret vow is given, 
And its deep adoration : there is love 

In the hushed prayer which dwells in every sigh, 
Hope in the kindling glance I turn above, 

And in thy trust, balm to my misery. 
I read thy word, and every thing is good : 

Affliction — trial, making us more pure; 
Evil — thy wisdom, when 'tis understood ; 

And pain — a friend, to teach us to endure ; 
Thy ministering angels all — pain, want, and care, 

The messengers that draw our hearts to thee, 
Not willingly to grieve us, but to shew 

The brightness of our better destiny. 



OFFERING. 205 



THE HEART'S MYSTERY. 



O ! who shall say he knows the folds 
Which veil another's inmost heart, 

The hopes, thoughts, wishes which it holds, 
In which he never bore a part ? 

That hidden world eye cannot see, — 

O ! who shall pierce its mystery ? 

Presumptuous aim ! that shrouded soul, 
Unmarked by every human gaze, 

Is open but to His control 

Who traces every secret maze ? 

It is not thine to bound its faith, 

Or say what feelings swell beneath ? 

There may be hope, as pure, as bright 

As ever sought eternity, — 
There may be light — clear heavenly light, 

Where all seems cold and dark to thee ; 
And where thy spirit mourns the dust, 
There may be trust — delightful trust. 
17* 



206 THE SACRED 

The lingering beam of twilight dies, 
And canst thou whisper where 't is fled ? 

There was a glow in summer skies, 
Where was that rosy lustre shed ? 

The sweetness of the evening dews, 

Their fragrance how do they diffuse ? 

And tell me, spring's first tender flower, 
How does it burst its icy sheath ? 

The Zephyrs on their winged hour, 
What spirit bids them freshly breathe ? 

If nature's secrets be not thine, 

How then the human soul, divine ? 

Go — bend to God, and leave to Him 
The mystery of thy brother's heart, 

Nor vainly think his faith is dim, 
Because in thine it hath no part ; 

He too is mortal, and like thee 

Would soar to immortality. 

And if in duty's hallowed sphere, 
Like thee he meekly, humbly bends, 

With hands unstained, and conscience clear 
With life's temptation he contends ; 

O ! leave him that unbroken rest, 

The peace that shrines a virtuous breast. 



OFFERING. 207 

And if his thoughts and hopes should err, 

Still view him with a gentle eye, 
Remembering doubt, and change, and fear 

Are woven in man's destiny ; 
And when these clouds are past away, 
That truth shall dawn with opening day ! 



RENOVATION. 



Roses wrested from their stems, 

Fling few odours on the air ; 
Beautiful, but broken gems, 

Can no master-hand repair. 
Earthly glories soon are gone, 

Brightly though they blaze and burn ; 
Future glories may come on, 

But the past will ne'er return. 

Man's all penetrating mind 
Travels time's creations o'er, 

From the eternity behind 
To the eternity before. 



208 THE SACRED 

Though his era is a day, 
And a point his domicile, 

Thought has an unmeasured way, 
Boundless is his fancy's will. 

Out of darkness we descend, 

Into darkness do we go, 
Whence we come, and whither tend, 

Little do the wisest know. 
We are but a spark at birth, 

Plucked from immortality; 
Flung a few short years on earth, 

And extinguished when we die. 

Dormant though its fires may be, 

In the metal's heart they slept ; 
And in chill mortality, 

Sparks immortal may be kept. 
Waiting till a power divine 

Strike the dull, cold earth, and say 
< Now again — arise, and shine 

In the glorious light of day.' 



OFFERING. 209 



MEMORIES. 



The heart is not forgetful ; the bright eye 

To-day may gaze, and may forget to-morrow ; 
But on the heart's pure tablet, joy and sorrow 
Are traced in lines that fade not ; we may die, 
But we cannot forget rapture and agony. 

The world may pass before our careless sight, 
And day may press on day, and our years vanish 
Numberless, noiseless, but we cannot banish 
The phantoms of the past — gloomy or bright, 
Our life's young morning sees them, and they haunt 
our night. 

Then happy he whose memory is fraught 
With virtuous images ; his heart ungrieving 
Shall muse upon them with a fond believing 
Of its own bliss. These things have I been taught 
By suffering, and by sorrow I this wisdom bought. 



210 THE SACRED 



SLEEP, SPIRIT, SLEEP.' 



Sleep, spirit, sleep ; awhile forget 

Each torturing thought that throngs thy brain, 
And lull each idly vain regret 

For blessings never thine again. 

They haunt thee still, the low dull cares 

Of soul-subduing poverty ; 
Even now the steel thine high heart wears, 

And it is goading inwardly. 

Hast thou not mind, hast thou not heart ? 

If these be thine, O what is lost ? 
Thy heaven of peace cannot depart, 

Though thy young hopes the world has crost. 

From this bad earth thy trust is riven, 

But raise thy weeping eye above, 
And swift, by fate's dark tempest driven, 

Thou soon shalt reach that home of love. 

Sleep, spirit, sleep ! awhile forget 

Each torturing thought that throngs thy brain, 
And lull each idly vain regret 

For blessings never thine again. 



OFFERING. 211 



THE RELIGION OF NATURE. 



Where'er we roam, o'er hill or dale, 

Through thickest wood or deepest dell, 
Or when we watch the distant sail, 

Where waves upon the sea-beach swell, - 
'T is Nature charms in every form 

Of soft or solemn, wild or grand, 
In azure sky or raging storm, 

In lofty rocks or pebbled strand. 

Where'er we cast our glance around, 

Above, below, on earth or sea, 
On meadow fields or castled mound, 

On waving grass or spreading tree, 
On humblest flowers, or forests tall, 

Where insects sport, or birds rejoice, 
'T is Nature charms in each, in all, 

In all, in each, we hear her voice. 

She sings in birds, she paints in flowers, 
She speaks in each created thing, 

She gives to each those wondrous powers 
Which to our grateful senses bring 



212 THE SACRED 

The ardent impulse to adore 

That God who framed this mighty plan ; 
And when in praise our joy flows o'er, 

'T is then that Nature speaks in Man I 



HYMN. 



My Father ! when around me spread, 
I see the shadows of the tomb ; 

And life's bright visions droop and fade, 
And darkness veils my future doom ; 

O in that anguished hour I turn 
With a still trusting heart to thee ! 

And holy thoughts still shine and burn 
Amid that cold, sad destiny. 

They fill my soul with heavenly light, 
While all around is pain and woe ; 

And strengthened by them in thy sight, 
Father, to drink thy cup I go ! 

Thy will be done — 1 will not fear 
The fate provided by thy love ; 



OFFERING. 213 

Though clouds and darkness shroud me here, 
I know that all is bright above. 

The'stars of heaven are shining on, 
Though these frail eyes are dim with tears ; 

The hopes of earth indeed are gone, 
But are not ours th' immortal years ? 

Father ! forgive the heart that clings 
Thus trembling to the things of time ; 

And bid my soul, on angel wings, 
Ascend into a purer clime ! 

There shall no doubts disturb its trust, 

No sorrows dim celestial love ; 
But these afflictions of the dust, 

Like shadows of the night, remove. 

That glorious hour will well repay 
A life of toil, and care, and woe ; 

O Father! joyful on my way, 
To drink thy bitter cup I go ! 

18 



214 THE SACRED 



SONNET. 



Boast not of memory's magic powers, 
Restoring past and happier hours — 
She opens wounds of grief again, 
And gives us back whole years of pain. 

No — give me hope's delightful views, 
Her sunny skies, her brilliant hues, 
Her star which sheds, with changeless ray, 
A bright, unclouded, endless day. 

But who beneath that star may live ? 
To whom may hope her influence give ? 
To those who would with steadfast faith 
Pour at her shrine their latest breath. 

To them that glorious light appears, 
That beams upon immortal years ; 
To them those glorious scenes unfold, 
By angels sung, and prophets told. 



OFFERING. 215 



THE PEACE OF HEAVEN. 



O give me that peace which the world cannot give, 
That gilds with its brightness the gloomiest day ; 
'T is a crown of rejoicing to them that believe, 

For they know that the world cannot take it away. 
And then may its torments, its slaughter, and sword 
Be lifted o'er them that are strong in their Lord ; 
But their peace is secure, while on Him is their stay, 
For the world cannot give it, nor take it away. 

The waves may roll high, and the tempest may roar, 
And toss the poor bark on the white foaming sea ; 
It may frighten and vex us, but cannot do more, 

For Jesus is with us, and faithful is He. 
And then may the hand of the foeman prevail, 
And turn us adrift to the merciless gale, 
But our peace is secure, for on Him is our stay, 
And the world cannot give it, nor take it away. 

And when our last foe shall encompass us round, 
For a time, with the cold icy chains of the tomb, 

If then in the Saviour of sinners we're found, 
Our woes are all lost in the glory to come. 



216 THE SACRED OFFERING, 

Fair Hope ! then adieu ! for our triumph it is, 
Thou art lost in the great consummation of bliss ; 
Our peace yet endures, for on God is our stay, 
And a world that is past, cannot take it away. 



*108 



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